Two blasts near the Iranian embassy in Beirut killed at least 23 people, injuring 146 and causing havoc and massive fire in the Lebanese capital. Six buildings were reportedly destroyed in the embassy compound. According to a local news source, Almanar News, the harrowing scene was caused by 100kg of TNT loaded into a Renault Rapid. Security sources on the ground said there were two blasts - the first caused by a person on a motorbike, while the second was a suicide bomber that tried to ram the compound with the car. Witnesses at the scene reported that they occurred within one-two minutes of each other. Lebanese media broadcast harrowing pictures of wounded people being carried from the scene of the blast. Witnesses speaking to Al Arabiya reported seeing smoke rising from the battered embassy compound, while footage from the bloody scene showed raging fires, with the death toll going up by the minute. It is not clear who was behind the attack at this time, but the area where the blasts occurred is
significant in two ways: firstly, it is considered to be a stronghold for the Lebanese Shiite faction, Hezbollah. And secondly, it is home to many families of Iranian diplomats working in Lebanon. The blasts in south Beirut's neighborhood of Janah also caused extensive damage on the nearby buildings and the Iranian mission. The area is a stronghold of the militant Hezbollah group, which is a main ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the civil war next door. It's not clear if the blasts are related to Syria's civil war. The neighborhood has been hit by several explosions in the past weeks that killed and wounded scores.