Suicide bomber kills two in Beirut
Lebanese rescuers and emergency personnel gather around the wreckage of a minibus at the site of an explosion on February 3, 2014 in Choueifat, south of the capital Beirut. [AFP]
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A suicide bomber blew himself up in a passenger van in Beirut’s southern district of Choueifat on Monday, killing at least two people, the state news agency reported.
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said the suicide bomber was trying to reached the Hezbollah stronghold of Dahya.
The bombing, which took place during the evening rush hour in the Choueifat district, was the latest of a series of attacks in Lebanon linked to the civil war in neighboring Syria.
The conflict has deeply divided Lebanon along sectarian lines and helped fuel a surge in violence that has rattled the already fragile country.
Lebanese TV stations broadcast video showing the charred, mangled wreckage of the mini-bus and pieces of flesh scattered on the pavement.
One security official cited one of the wounded as saying a man blew himself up after boarding the mini-bus and confirming that it was heading to a predominantly Shiite area in southern Beirut. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.
Choueifat is traditionally a Druse neighborhood, but is adjacent to a Shiite area.
A series of deadly bombings have targeted Shiite districts of Beirut’s southern suburbs in recent months. The Hezbollah militant group has a strong presence in the districts, and the attacks are believed to be retaliation for the Shiite group’s armed intervention in Syria in support of President Bashar Assad.