Car bomb rocks Hezbollah stronghold in Lebanon
August 15, 2013 -- Updated 2238 GMT (0638 HKT)
- NEW: 18 killed, 291 wounded, state news says
- The army says a car bomb caused the blast
- An unknown group claims responsibility in a YouTube video
- The area is a Hezbollah stronghold
Beirut, Lebanon (CNN) -- A car bomb Thursday rocked a southern suburb of Lebanon's capital -- an area known as a stronghold of the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah, the Lebanese Army said.
Eighteen people were killed and 291 were wounded, the Lebanese national news agency NNA reported.
Video shown on Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV showed fierce flames engulfing several cars in the Beirut suburb. Thick, black smoke rose from the vehicles; a nearby building also appeared to be on fire. Ambulances were rushing to the site of the blast, NNA reported.
"Army units arrived immediately at the scene, enforcing a security zone within the area of explosion while military experts initiated investigations under the concerned judiciary's surveillance," the army said.
July: Massive car bomb in Beirut
After the blast, a YouTube video surfaced in which three masked men holding weapons claimed they are part of a group responsible for the attack. They stood before a large Arabic sign containing the Islamic creed, "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah."
The group, which calls itself "The brigade of Aisha, Mother of Believers," accused Hezbollah of being aggressors. Aisha is the last wife of the Prophet Muhammad and is especially revered by Sunni Muslims.
In its YouTube post, the group called Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah a "pig" and said he works on behalf of Iran and Israel.
"A message: To our brothers and sisters in Lebanon: Stay away from anything to do with Iran -- whether in Beirut or outside Beirut," it said.
Hezbollah is a Shiite movement in Lebanon. Along with Shiite-dominated Iran, the group is helping Syria's government fight rebels, whose ranks are dominated by Sunnis.
CNN could not confirm the authenticity of the video or the men's claims. The U.S. Embassy in Beirut tweeted condemnations of the attack.
Civil Defense units were trying to rescue some citizens stuck inside their homes due to the fire resulting from the blast, NNA reported.
The explosion comes about a month after a car bomb injured dozens of people in the pro-Hezbollah neighborhood of Bir El Abed, located in a southern Beirut suburb.
CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom reported from Beirut, Lebanon. CNN's Yasmin Amer reported from Atlanta.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.