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An explosion rocked southern Beirut, in a neighborhood controlled by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, leaving at least 16 dead and 120 wounded.
The Globe and Mail reports, a Sunni Islamist group Brigades of Aisha came forward for what turned out to be a car bomb unleashed in the neighborhood. “I don’t know what happened. It’s as if we were struck by an earthquake,” someone on the scene said.
Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil could only confirm 16 deaths and said there were 226 wounded.
The explosion occurred between two buildings BBC's Jim Muir noted and close to the Sayyed al-Shuhada complex, says the BBC. Friday is being labeled a day of mourning by the outgoing prime minister.
The group that took credit for the attack also said they were responsible for a similar car bombing that occurred last month. Hezbollah politicians are asking followers for no retaliation.
The Globe also reports that the Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, a Lebanese politician, claims the attacks could “have been an Israeli retaliation for the Labouneh operation.”
Southern Beirut has seen two similar attacks this year as neighbor Syria’s issues threaten to involve Lebanon as Sunni Muslims are supporting Syrian rebels.