4 Dead in Haret Hreik Suicide Bombing, 'al-Nusra Front in Lebanon' Claims Attackإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
A suicide bombing rocked on Tuesday Beirut's southern suburbs for the second time this month, leaving at least four people dead, the health ministry and the state-run National News Agency reported.
A group calling itself al-Nusra Front in Lebanon, believed to be a franchise of the Syrian al-Qaida-linked group, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The group said via Twitter that the attack was aimed at retaliating to Hizbullah's alleged massacres in Syria and the Lebanese northeastern town of Arsal.
Al-Nusra Front is the official branch of al-Qaida in Syria, and late last year a group calling itself the al-Nusra Front in Lebanon emerged.
The health ministry said four people were killed and 46 were wounded when according to NNA a suicide bomber in a silver Kia Sportage blew himself up in the Haret Hreik district.
NNA said the vehicle was loaded with mortars.
Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said the Kia was stolen in Kfarhbab last year. Its owner is Khallas Youssef al-Kallas.
The Army Command announced later on Tuesday afternoon that the explosion was caused by the detonation of three 120-millimeter and 130-millimeter shells that weighed around 15 kilograms.
“An explosives belt that did not blow up was also found on the scene, next to the human remains of the suicide bomber,” the army communique added.
The military institution urged the families of missing people in the blast to head to the Al-Rasul al-Aaza hospital to do DNA testing.
TV footage showed black smoke rising from the area of the explosion.
Firefighters rushed to the district to douse a fire that engulfed several cars and gutted the facade of a residential building in the busy al-Arid commercial street.
Ambulances, their sirens wailing, also transported the wounded to hospitals in the region.
Red Cross Operations Director George Kettaneh said human remains were found in the area.
An eyewitness also told Hizbullah's al-Manar TV that the person inside the vehicle, who was driving recklessly, blew himself up even before parking the car.
Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr tasked military police to investigate the blast, which the army said in a communique that it was caused by a car bomb.
Wadi Khaled resident Qutaiba Mohammed al-Satem was the suicide bomber who blew himself up also in Haret Hreik in early January.
Tuesday's bombing was the fifth attack to hit the Hizbullah bastion since the group announced its intervention in Syria last year.
Less than a week ago, a car bomb exploded in Hermel, a town in the eastern Bekaa valley, also a Hizbullah stronghold.
The attacks are apparently in retaliation for the group's fighting in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad's troops.
The Traffic Management Center asked residents to clear the area of the blast to allow rescuers to help the wounded after hundreds of people flocked to the scene of the blast.
Hizbullah MP Ali Ammar was quick to point the finger at Israel.
He told reporters that the explosion aimed at undermining the country's security, unity and civil peace.