In an attack that the Lebanese Red Cross says has killed at least 37 people and injured 181 more, two suicide bombers set off explosions within minutes of each other Thursday in southern Beirut.
“The self-declared Islamic State has purportedly claimed responsibility for two blasts that hit a busy street,” NPR’s Leila Fadel reports.
The attack occurred in an area that’s under the control of the Shiite group Hezbollah, which is allied with Iran.
“About 18 months ago, there was a spate of bombings in the area, largely claimed by Sunni Muslim groups linked with Syrian rebels,” NPR’s Alice Fordham reports. “In Syria — which is next door to Lebanon — Hezbollah has taken the side of the regime against the rebel forces.”
Alice adds, “The death toll from this attack is higher than any attacks in Lebanon in recent memory.”