Beirut Suicide Attack Kills 25 People Near Iran Embassy, Al Qaeda Claims Responsibility

A suicide attack in Beirut has killed at least 25 people near the Iran embassy on Tuesday, according to the latest reports. The terrorist group al Qaeda is claiming responsibility.

The Lebanese Army said the first blast happened when a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle detonated himself just before a second one, driving a four wheeler, blew himself up in front of the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

The attack, which also wounded 150 bystanders, is the first to target Iran in the Hezbollah controlled neighborhood.

The blasts shattered the glass off windows, injuring innocent people on the streets, which became tainted with blood. Many were seen walking around in a daze as Hezbollah soldiers tried to secure the scene.

The Beirut suicide attack is the third in Hezbollah strongholds this year and comes as tensions over the conflict in neighboring Syria escalate.

Iran is a close ally of Syria and supporter of Hezbollah, which has sent fighters to help with the 32-month long uprising.

Damascus quickly condemned the suicide attack in Beirut:

“The Syrian government firmly condemns the terrorist attack carried out near the Iranian embassy in Beirut,” the state television station said.

Iran also condemned the attack accusing Israel and its “mercenaries” of being involved. Israel denies the accusations.

Al Qaeda, through the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a jihadist group linked to the terrorist organization, made a statement claiming responsibility for the double suicide attack in Beirut:

“This is a double martyrdom operation carried out by two heros from the heroic Sunnis of Lebanon,” Sirajeddin Zreikat, a member of the group, wrote on his Twitter account.

The scene was described with blood and glass on the streets, and Lebanese media showed graphic images of charred bodies, some still on fire, according to an AFP reporter.

Many Lebanese Sunni Muslims, who back the Sunni-dominated opposition in Syria, are angered by Hezbollah’s involvement in the country’s civil war.

Hezbollah strongholds in southern Beirut were attacked by suicide bombers on July 9 and August 15, killing 27 people.

There are rising concerns that Beirut could be dragged into the Syrian conflict, which has claimed 120,000 lives since March of 2011.

It remains to be seen whether this recent suicide attack in Beirut will deter Hezbollah from continuing its support of Syria.