Lebanese capital hit by suicide bomb attack

Lebanese capital hit by suicide bomb attack

PanARMENIAN.Net - A suicide bomber has detonated a car bomb near a Lebanese army checkpoint in the capital, Beirut, officials say, according to BBC News.

The blast, which caused a huge fire, occurred in a southern suburb mainly inhabited by Shia Muslims. At least 12 people who were watching World Cup football in a nearby cafe were wounded but it is unclear whether anyone else was killed.

Lebanon has suffered a rise in sectarian tension linked to the conflict in neighbouring Syria. Last week a policeman was killed and 30 people injured when a suicide bomber detonated a car full of explosives in eastern Lebanon. The latest explosion occurred just after midnight local time (21:00 GMT).

Previous attacks on Shia areas in Lebanon have been carried out by Sunni extremists who accuse Shia militant group Hezbollah of fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad's troops in Syria.

But the incident comes amid mounting regional tensions over events in nearby Iraq, where the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) has seized large chunks of territory in the country's north and west.

Last week, Lebanese security forces raided a hotel in Beirut and arrested more than a dozen men thought to have been plotting attacks in the country. Security forces have been on high alert since last week's suicide attack in eastern Lebanon. It was believed to have been an attempt to assassinate security chief Major General Abbas Ibrahim whose convoy was passing by at the time.

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