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More than 20 people are feared dead after a large car bomb exploded near a Hezbollah compound in central Beirut today. More than a hundred others were injured and smoke from the fires started by the explosion could be seen from miles away. 

The attack may have been a consequence of Hezbollah's increasing participation in the Syrian civil war. For months, Hezbollah fighters party have reportedly been crossing the border into Syria to support Bashar al-Assad's campaign against the (predominantly Sunni) rebels. Al Jazeera reports that a little-known Sunni Group based in Syria claimed responsibility for the blast, though their involvement is unconfirmed. A video message from the group included three men in mask, one of whom said "We send a message to Hassan Nasrallah's pigs." Nasrallah is the Secretary General of Hezbollah.

The bomb went off on a narrow street corner, trapping many nearby residents in their apartments, and fires burned on the streets for hours. A similar blast went off in almost the same area of Beirut just one month ago.

REUTERS/ Mohamed Azakir

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