Jihadists claim 'suicide' blasts near Iran's Beirut embassy

BEIRUT (AFP) - A jihadist group linked to Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for what it called a double suicide bombing on Tuesday outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut, which killed at least 23 people.

“This is a double martyrdom operation carried out by two heros from the heroic Sunnis of Lebanon,” Sirajeddin Zreikat, a member of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, wrote on his Twitter account.

The Lebanese army confirmed it was a double suicide bombing, and such attacks are the hallmark of Al-Qaeda.

Zreikat warned of new attacks in Lebanon, so long as the powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah, which backs Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, does not withdraw from Lebanon.

“God willing, the operations in Lebanon will continue until two demands are met. The first is that Iran’s party (the Tehran-backed Hezbollah) withdraws from Syria. The second is the release of our prisoners from Lebanon’s unjust jails,” the jihadist said.

He was referring to Salafist prisoners held in Lebanon for belonging to “terrorist organisations”.