Beirut Blast Kills Four

Explosion took place near Iranian cultural center. At least 35 people were injured.

Gil Ronen ,

Aftermath of Beirut bomb, 2nd Jan. 2014
Aftermath of Beirut bomb, 2nd Jan. 2014

At least four people were killed Wednesday in blasts in the southern suburbs of Beirut near an Iranian cultural center, the Red Cross and security sources said.

The explosions hit about 50 meters apart in the Bir Hassan neighbourhood on Wednesday.

At least 35 people were injured.

A group affiliated with Al Qaeda said that it had carried out the attack.

Al Jazeera, reporting from the scene, said gunfire rang out from the area shortly after the blasts, and several vehicles could be seen burning.

The targeted area was meters away from the Kuwaiti embassy and a few hundred meters from the Iranian embassy, which was hit by a bomb attack in November that killed 23 people and wounded dozens.

There were no immediate details on the nature of the Wednesday's explosion, which sent a large plume of smoke over the area.

An explosion rocked a southern suburb of Beirut one month ago (January 21), killing at least four people and injuring 20. The attack took place in Arid Street in the Haret Hreik district, a Shia-majority neighborhood and stronghold of the Hezbollah terrorist group. 

The January blast in the Hezbollah stronghold was the latest in a series of attacks said to be linked to Hezbollah's role in the Syrian civil war, where the Shia organization's forces have been fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, while Lebanese Sunni Muslims tend to back the Syrian opposition.

Five people were killed and many others injured by a bomb blast on January 2 in the same Beirut district. Former minister Mohamad Chatah, a Sunni and a critic of Hezbollah, was killed with five others by a car bomb on December 27.