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'Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon' claims Beirut bombing that killed four

The car bombing, apparently carried out by a suicide attacker, hit a southern Beirut neighborhood considered a stronghold of Hezbollah.

Beirut bombing january 21 2014 nusra frontEnlarge
Smoke and blaze from burning cars are seen following an explosion on January 21, 2014 in Haret Hreik, a south Beirut neighbourhood considered a stronghold of the Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Four people were killed and 35 wounded on Tuesday in a bomb blast in a southern Beirut neighborhood considered a stronghold of Lebanon's Hezbollah, a Red Cross spokesman told AFP.

"Four people are dead, and there are 35 injured," Red Cross communications director Ayad al-Monzer said.

The Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon, believed to be a franchise of the Syrian Al Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility for the bombing.

"With the help of God almighty we have responded to the massacres carried out by the party of Iran (Hezbollah)... with a martyrdom operation in their backyard in the southern (Beirut) suburbs," the group said in a statement posted on its Twitter account.

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The car bombing, apparently carried out by a suicide attacker, hit the southern Beirut neighborhood of Haret Hreik, which is considered a stronghold of Lebanon's Shia militant and political group Hezbollah.

The Lebanese group is a staunch ally of the Syrian regime, and has dispatched thousands of fighters to battle alongside Syrian troops against a Sunni-dominated uprising.

Its involvement in the conflict has seen Hezbollah increasingly targeted at home in bombings claimed by different Sunni extremist groups.

Al Nusra Front is the official branch of Al Qaeda in Syria, and late last year a group calling itself the Al Nusra Front in Lebanon emerged.

Tuesday's attack was the sixth time that areas considered to be Hezbollah strongholds have been targeted since the group acknowledged sending forces to Syria.

The group is believed to be the target of such attacks, but they have regularly killed civilians rather than Hezbollah members.

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