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A BOMB WENT OFF IN BEIRUT’S HIZBULLAH COMPOUND

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Three people were killed, on Saturday 12/26/2009 at about 21:00, in a blast in the south of Lebanese capital Beirut that may have targeted an official from the Palestinian group, Hamas.

 Security sources say that an explosive device went off under a vehicle in a stronghold of Lebanon’s Islamist militant group Hizbullah. According to reports in Lebanon, the explosion took place in the trunk of a car parked in the well protected Haret Hreik suburb, which is considered a Hizbullah neighborhood in which many Hizbullah institutions are located (see –  The-Pattern ).

A number of people were also wounded in the explosions, one of them seriously. The Lebanese state news agency says that “three bombs tied to each other” were placed under the vehicle.

Al-Arabiya TV channel reported that Lebanese authorities were examining whether the explosion was meant to target Ali Barakeh, one of Hamas’ representative in Lebanon. Media reports of Saturday’s incident were conflicting and unclear. Al-Arabiya also reported that two Hizbullah members arriving at the scene to dismantle the explosives were killed in the blast.

A senior police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press Saturday’s blast had occurred in a neighborhood that houses a Hamas office. Osama Hamdan, the Hamas representative in Lebanon, was not available for comment, according to a person who answered his mobile phone, AP adds.

Hamas, which effectively controls the Gaza Strip inside the Palestinian territories, has representatives both in Beirut and in neighboring Syria.

The explosion comes days following the decision to include Lebanon in the United Nations Security Council, as well as the Lebanese prime minister’s historic visit to Damascus. Lebanon also joined the Security Council as the representative of the group of Arab countries, in place of Libya – despite the fact that Hezbollah recently joined the state’s government.

Hamas admitted later two of his members were, indeed, killed in the explosion. Other three were injured.

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