bomb kills four in Hezbollah area of Beirut: sources
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[January 21, 2014]
BEIRUT (Reuters) — A suicide bomber
killed four people on Tuesday in a residential neighborhood of southern
Beirut known for its support of Shi'ite military and political group
Hezbollah, security sources said.
A Reuters reporter said she saw the remains of what appeared to be
the suicide attacker at the site of the blast as emergency workers
transported wounded people from the area, where a similar bombing
occurred earlier this month.
Images broadcast on Hezbollah's Al Manar channel showed flames
erupting from a building and a thick plume of smoke billowing over a
street near the charred remains of cars as a crowd gathered at the
site of the blast.
It was not immediately clear what the blast had targeted. The
explosion went off on a busy street of small shops and restaurants
in the Haret Hreik area of Beirut's largely Shi'ite southern
Tensions from the nearly three-year conflict in Syria have
increasingly infected neighboring Lebanon, which is still struggling
to recover from its own 1975-1990 civil war and has been without a
fully functioning government since March.
Hezbollah has sent fighters and advisers across the border to help
its ally President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the Shi'ite-derived
Alawite minority, in his fight against mainly Sunni rebels.
Hezbollah's strongholds in Lebanon have meanwhile been hit by a
string of rocket and bomb attacks claimed by hardline Sunni
Security sources told Reuters that four people died in Tuesday's
attack and at least 20 more were wounded.
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Haret Hreik was the target of a car bomb attack earlier this month
that killed at least five people.
Rocket fire from Syria killed at least seven people in the border
town of Arsal on Friday, a day after a suicide car bomber killed
three people in the Hezbollah stronghold of Hermel on the border
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri told Reuters last week
he was ready to share power with Hezbollah if that's what it took to
help end the country's political deadlock.
(Reporting by Laila Bassam, Alexander Dziadosz and Stephen Kalin;
writing by Alexander Dziadosz; editing by Mark Heinrich, John Stonestreet)
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