Twin Bombs Hit Iran Embassy in Beirut, Kill 23
Al-Qaeda-linked group claims responsibility for Beirut blast
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2013 8:00 AM CST
Lebanese people gather at the scene where two explosions have struck near the Iranian Embassy killing many, in Beirut, Lebanon, Nov. 19, 2013.   (Bilal Hussein)
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(Newser) – An al-Qaeda-linked group has claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings that struck outside the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, killing 23 people, including an Iranian diplomat. The obscure Abdullah Azzam Brigades said in online posts that it carried out the mid-morning bombings today in a southern Beirut Hezbollah stronghold. The group says it will continue with such attacks until the Iranian-backed Hezbollah withdraws its military support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The mid-morning blasts hit the upscale neighborhood of Janah, leaving bodies and pools of blood on the glass-strewn street amid burning cars. More than 140 people were wounded, officials said. A Lebanese security official said the first suicide attacker was on a motorcycle that carried 4.4 pounds of explosives. He blew himself up at the large black main gate of the Iranian mission, damaging the three-story facility, the official said. Less than two minutes later, a second suicide attacker driving a car rigged with 110 pounds of explosives struck about 10 yards away.

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