Suicide bombings in two cars targeted Beirut’s Iranian Cultural Center in a busy suburb on Wednesday. The blasts killed eight people, including the two bombers, while over 125 more were wounded, said a source with the Beirut government.
Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which has links to al-Qaeda claimed to be responsible for the explosions. The group called the explosions a raid against Iran’s Cultural center retaliation to Hezbollah and the role of Iran in the war in Syria.
This same group claimed the twin suicide bombings on November 19 outside Iran’s embassy that took the lives of dozens, including one diplomat from Iran.
Today’s blasts occurred in the morning during the height of rush hour. They are the second attack over the past four months that have targeted Iranian interests in the neighborhood of Bir Hasan, which is residential, commercial, and home to the Kuwaiti and Iranian Embassies, as well as many television stations.
Civil Defense vehicles and ambulances raced to the bombing scene. The explosion was so strong it was fell for several kilometers.
The Tawhid party, with Wiam Wahhab as its head, said one victim in the bombings was Hamzi Sobh, who was 56.
He reportedly grew suspicious of the occupants of one of the cars and stopped them asking them for papers, but the car was then blown up by the bomber.
The Lebanese Army told its citizens who had family or friends near the attack scene to go to a nearby hospital and have a DNA test conducted to identify the human remains found since they could not be identified due to such damage done to their bodies.
The Army, in another statement, said that one of the cars that blew up was a Mercedes that had license plates that were fake and was carrying over 75 kilograms of explosives.
The other vehicle was a BMW X5 that had over 90 kilos of explosives and shells.
The army said the BMW had been registered originally to Mohammad Ali Issa and then sold later to Mustafa Ismail.
In addition, to the deaths and many wounded a number of other vehicles and nearby buildings were also damaged. The remains of those killed in the blast could be seen scattered around the attack site.