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Official: At least 4 killed in southern Beirut explosion

By Saad Abedine, CNN
updated 5:18 AM EST, Wed February 19, 2014
Lebanese emergency personnel evacuate an injured girl from an orphanage in Beirut on February 19, 2014.
Lebanese emergency personnel evacuate an injured girl from an orphanage in Beirut on February 19, 2014.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The state news agency is reporting there were two explosions
  • In November, suicide attacks took place in the same area

(CNN) -- At least four civilians were killed in two blasts in southern Lebanon, Health Minister Wael Abu Faour told reporters Wednesday. Two additional bodies may or may not be those of suicide bombers.

"Our forensic experts are at the scene of the crime to confirm if these were the suicide bombers or if they are two bystanders," he said. There were also 103 injuries.

The explosions took place in the same neighborhood where militants attacked the Iranian Embassy in November, state news media reported.

Source: Note on deadly mail bomb

Lebanon's state news agency NNA reported that the explosions took place about 100 meters apart. One happened near the Iranian Cultural Chancellery. A second blast took place near the Henry Shehab military base.

The al Qaeda-linked militant group Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The same group employed the same pattern in the November attacks.

Nearly two dozen people died in that incident.

Afterward, the group warned that more attacks would come unless the Lebanese-based, Iranian-backed Shiite militia Hezbollah stops sending fighters to support Syrian government forces. It also demanded the release of the group's members being held prisoner in Lebanon.

READ: Lebanese lawmakers form new government, ending long uncertainty

READ: At least 4 dead in bomb blast in Lebanon

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