Lebanese men remove a body from a burned car at the scene where two explosions struck near the Iranian Embassy.
Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon says his country’s cultural attaché has died from wounds sustained in twin explosions that struck near the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, killing 23 people.
Ambassador Ghazanfar Roknabadi identified the diplomat as Sheikh Ibrahim Ansari. The ambassador says Ansari took his post in Lebanon a month ago and was overseeing all regional cultural activities.
A Lebanese man carries an injured Asian domestic worker, at the horrific scene where two bombs rocked Beirut.
The mid-morning blasts hit Beirut’s neighborhood of Janah, a stronghold of the Shiite militant Hezbollah. Attacks have targeted Hezbollah strongholds in recent months in what many see as retaliation by Sunni extremists for Hezbollah’s role in Syria’s civil war.
Lebanese Red Cross workers remove a body from the scene of a car bombing in Beirut nearby the Iranian Embassy.
Lebanese Health Minister Ali Hassan Khali says the explosions also wounded 146 people.
At least 20 are dead in twin explosions in Beirut that also killed the Iranian cultural attaché.
Attacks have targeted Lebanon’s Shiite strongholds recently in what many see as retaliation by extremists for Hezbollah’s role in Syria.
AP video showed firefighters extinguishing flames from vehicles, blood-spattered streets and bodies covered with sheets on the ground. A charred motorcycle stood outside the embassy gate.
A Lebanese man tries to pull a dead body out of a burned car, at the scene where two explosions have struck near the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.
It was not immediately clear what had caused the blasts, and reports varied. Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said one of the blasts was carried out by a suicide attacker on foot while the second was a car bomb.
Soldiers, policemen and medical personnel gather at the site of explosions near the Iranian Embassy.
An armed guard of the Iranian embassy told AP that the first blast was believed to have been carried out by a suicide attacker who rode a motorcycle and blew himself up outside the gate. The other explosion, which caused much more damage, was a car bomb, the guard said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media.
Lebanese state media said the twin explosions were the result of a suicide bomber on foot and a car bomb.
Heazbollah’s Al-Manar TV said 17 people were killed while Iran’s Press TV put the death toll at 15.
There have been several attacks the past few months, including with rockets and car bombs, against Shiite strongholds in Lebanon in what Syrian rebels say is retaliation for the militant Hezbollah group’s open involvement on the side of President Bashar Assad’s forces in the civil war in neighboring Syria.
The powerful blast in the upscale neighborhood of Janah, a Hezbollah stronghold, shattered a nearby building.
“We tell those who carried out the attack, you will not be able to break us,” Hezbollah lawmaker Ali Mikdad told Al-Mayadeen TV. “We got the message and we know who sent it and we know how to retaliate.”
Hezbollah’s Al-Rasoul al-Azam hospital called on people to donate blood, saying they need all blood types.
Iran has been one of Assad’s strongest supporters, supplying him with money and weapons since the Syrian crisis began in March 2011.
An Aug. 15 car bombing in a Shiite stronghold of Hezbollah in the southern suburbs of Beirut killed 27 people and wounded more than 300. A less powerful car bomb targeted the same area on July 9, wounding more than 50.