A car bomb explosion on Tuesday has wounded at least 38 people in the heart of a Hezbollah stronghold, reports Reuters, with fears of spillover tension and violence from neighboring Syria running high.
Political tensions in Lebanon have increased recently, as civil strife in Syria echoes a Sunni-Shiite conflict waged here in past years.
Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel condemned the attack as a “criminal act aimed at destabilizing the country and creating Sunni-Shiite sectarian strife.”
The Shiite Hezbollah have recently intervened to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Sunni Muslim militants have threatened retaliation against Hezbollah for that move.
No one has yet officially claimed responsibility for the attack.
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Many victims were apparently women and children out shopping.
Beirut’s last car bomb, in October, targeted a senior intelligence official.