Last updated: 15 October, 2013

Army defuses car bomb in Beirut Hezbollah bastion

The Lebanese army defused a car bomb on Monday in the southern Beirut stronghold of Hezbollah, the military said in a statement, weeks after it was hit by two bombings.

The army said it called in bomb disposal experts after spotting a suspicious vehicle in the Maamura area of Beirut’s southern suburbs on Monday afternoon.

“The vehicle turned out to be rigged with explosives,” it said, adding that the military experts were defusing it.

Lebanese army troops deployed in Hezbollah’s southern Beirut suburbs in September, taking over checkpoints in a deal struck with the powerful Shiite group after two massive bombings since July.

The security points were established after car bombings in the southern suburbs that killed 27 people on August 15 and wounded more than 50 on July 9.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, a key ally of the Syrian regime, has said that a probe into the August bombing showed Sunni extremists affiliated with the Syrian opposition were behind it.

Lebanon is sharply divided over the raging war in neighbouring Syria, with Hezbollah and its allies backing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the Sunni-led opposition supporting the rebellion.