A powerful car bomb blasted the illusive quiet in a Hezbollah area of Beirut Tuesday, wounding at least 50 people. No deaths have been reported, despite initial accounts that “one to several” people died in the explosion.
Hezbollah blamed Israel for the attack.
The car bomb exploded in a supermarket parking lot in the Bir al-Abed district shortly before noon, leaving a 6-foot by 6-foot crater, burning at least 10 other vehicles and damaging others. Ambulances and fire trucks raced to the scene, which was cordoned off by police. A fire was still burning out of control near a gasoline station.
Most of the wounded and taken to two local hospitals and were not in critical condition, the Beirut Daily Star reported.
In May, two rockets hit another Beirut suburb and wounded four people, hours after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah confirmed that his terrorist guerillas were fighting alongside loyalists to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad against rebels.
Hezbollah Parliament member Ali Ammar told the Star that Tuesday’s attack targeted the Hezbollah neighborhood because Hezbollah “has confronted the U.S.-Israeli project in the region. [The attack] “clearly bears the fingerprint of the Israeli enemy and its tools.”
Hezbollah’s open and erect involvement in the Syrian civil war has inflamed tensions in Lebanon, where the government has been walking on thin ice for years, trying to balance off pro-Syrian and Hezbollah’s political arm with nationalists and the fiercely anti-Syrian Sunni Muslim community.
Two rockets from Syria smashed inside Lebanon Monday and hit a Hezbollah-dominated area.