Dozens dead in Beirut IS double suicide bombing

Dozens dead in Beirut IS double suicide bombing
Lebanon is in mourning as twin explosions claimed by IS hit the mostly Shia south Beirut suburb on Thursday afternoon, killing at least 43 and injuring over a hundred.
2 min read
12 November, 2015
Twin bombings hit Burj al-Barajneh in Beirut [AFP]

Twin explosions have rocked a stronghold of Hizballah in the south of the Lebanese capital late Thursday afternoon, killing at least 43 people, and wounding over 100.

The two explosions took place in Bourj al-Barajneh in the southern suburbs, and the death toll is expected to rise.

The Islamic State group (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released on Thursday evening.

Security officials say the explosions occurred minutes apart, after two men on foot set off suicide vests in front of a shopping centre in the area.

The area is now on a high security alert. According to al-Araby al-Jadeed's Beirut correspondent, the area has been sealed off and no one is currently allowed access.

Hizballah leaning television channel, Al-Mayadeen, have released footage showing a third suicide bomber, who was reportedly killed in the second explosion, before he was able to detonate his suicide vest.

The attack comes as Lebanon's parliament on Thursday met for the first time in a year in a bid to avoid losing millions of dollars in international aid and loans.

The session, called by speaker Nabih Berri, was convened despite a boycott by one of Lebanon's Christian parties over an ongoing dispute about the need for a new president.

Schools and public insitutions will remain closed on Friday after Lebanon's prime minister, Tammam Salam, declared a national day of mourning.

In his first reaction to the attack, Lebanese interior minister Nohad Machnouk wrote on Twitter: "We will not cease pursuing the criminals where ever they may be".

Meanwhile, Lebanese health minister Wael Abou Faour said: "We fear a return to the espisodes of bombings in Lebanon and we need to achieve political and security agreements to protect the country".