At Least 14 Dead in Beirut Bombing

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BEIRUT, Lebanon -- A powerful car bomb ripped through the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital on Thursday, killing at least 14 people and wounding more than 200, the authorities said, in what appeared to be an attack aimed at Hezbollah, the militant Shiite group.

Images of the late-afternoon explosion, broadcast on the Hezbollah-controlled television network Al Manar, showed fire and wreckage along the commercial and residential street in the area known as Ruwais, a neighborhood dominated by Hezbollah supporters.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing. But criticism of Hezbollah has strengthened in Lebanon because of the group's armed intervention in neighboring Syria, where Hezbollah fighters have been assisting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad in fighting an alliance of Sunni insurgents in that country's civil war.

The blast took place amid tall apartment buildings, and rescue forces used flashlights as they searched upper floors checking on residents, a number of whom were evacuated. The blast blew out the fronts of buildings in the neighborhood and caused fires that engulfed other cars.

The state news agency reported 14 dead and 212 wounded in the Ruwais neighborhood, which is packed with residential buildings and shops. Reuters reported at least 20 people had been killed.

The Lebanese daily, The Daily Star, reported that the interior minister, Marwan Charbel, had confirmed that the blast was the result of a car bomb.

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This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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