Two explosions have struck near the Iranian Embassy in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, killing at least five people.
An Associated Press photographer counted at least five bodies after the blasts in south Beirut on Tuesday.
It was not immediately clear what had caused the explosions, and local reports varied from rockets to car bombs.
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.
Residents report hearing two loud explosions in Lebanese city; local reports vary on whether blast caused by rockets or car bombs.
At least ten people were killed Tuesday morning in two strong explosions near the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. According to one report, several rockets were fired at the area and at least one of them hit the building.
The area of the blasts in southern Beirut is considered a Hezbollah stronghold. The Shiite organization is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and is helping him in his war against Syrian rebels.
The Hezbollah affiliated al-Manar network reported that 10 people had been killed in the explosions. The embassy building sustained heavy damage, according to the reports, and at least 10 vehicles caught fire.
According to a correspondent of the Lebanese network, clerics and security guards were hurt in the blasts near the embassy.
The Voice of Lebanon 93.3 radio station reported that the Iranian Embassy said it was not the target of the attack and that the Iranian ambassador was not hurt.
Several terror attacks have taken place in Lebanon in recent months, including in the Dahiya controlled by Hezbollah. Dozens of people have been killed in the attack, which were believed to be acts of revenge over the involvement of Hassan Nasrallah’s organization in the civil war in Syria.