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

An explosion has rocked a southern suburb of Beirut, killing at least four people and injuring 20.

The apparent bomb attack took place in Arid Street in the Haret Hreik district, a Shia-majority neighborhood and stronghold of the Hezbollah terrorist group. Large crowds had gathered at the scene.

Hezbollah's al-Manar TV showed flames and smoke pouring out of the front of a multi-story building.

The blast in the Hezbollah stronghold is 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.

It is the latest of several recent explosions in Lebanon.

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.