18:10 19 November 2013
A double suicide bombing has taken place in the Lebanese capital Beirut just outside the Iranian embassy killing at least 22 people and injuring more than 140. This is the worst in Shia southern Beirut since the war across the border in Syria began. This attack is also the first on an Iranian target.
Meanwhile, there are conflicting reports about cultural attaché Ebrahim Ansari. Previously, the Iranian ambassador in Beirut confirmed that he died in the attack saying it was not clear if he had been in the embassy or one of the residential buildings nearby. However, the Iranian foreign minister says otherwise. It said that that Ansari, who had only taken up this post last month, is alive.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague joined the Syrian government in condemning the attack. He said: The UK is strongly committed to supporting stability in Lebanon and seeing those responsible for this attack brought to justice."
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati reacted to the news saying: "The aim of the blast is to stir up the situation in Lebanon and use the Lebanese arena to convey messages.”
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