A suspected suicide bombing killed at least four people including a teenage girl and wounded 46 others in a southern suburb of Beirut Tuesday, a security source said, in the latest attack claimed by an anti-Hezbollah Al-Qaeda-linked group.
According to the Daily Star, the explosion on the bustling Al-Arid Street in Haret Hreik occurred around 11 a.m. just meters from the site of an explosion earlier in the month that was claimed by the Al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).
Tuesday’s attack was claimed the Nusra Front in Lebanon, an offshoot of Syria’s Nusra Front which is blacklisted by the United States as a terrorist group.
Locals had been startled by a motorist who was speeding in the area moments before the attack.
“We saw a car that was speeding. The driver was honking like a mad man,” Kamal Hijazi, the owner of a mini market located meters from where the explosion took place, told The Daily Star.
“Seconds later, we saw the explosion which sent the vehicle flying up in the air,” he added.
A Reuters reporter said she saw the remains of what appeared to be the suicide attacker as emergency workers transported wounded people from the blast site, less than 100 meters from where another bomb exploded this month.
"I was passing in the street and the explosion went off," a wounded man at a nearby hospital, Kamal Abdel Ali, said. "I don't know how but I flew and fell to the ground."
The blast, which sent plumes of smoke into the Beirut skyline, set fire to a number of floors of a residential building in the suburb. Security forces, backed by residents, removed damaged vehicles on the road, clearing a path for the fire brigade to douse the flames.
Referring to a preliminary investigation, the source said a man, suspected to be involved in the attack, stepped out of a Kia Sportage moments before the blast.
His remains were found at the scene of the crime, the source said.
The Kia carried a stolen license plate, originally belonging to a Toyota registered in the name of Sama Wafi Biyazed, the source added.
A series of bombings including suicide attacks have rocked Beirut's southern suburbs since July of last year. Most of them have been claimed by Syrian rebel groups in retaliation for Hezbollah's military involvement in Syria on the side of President Bashar Assad.
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader