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Suicide bomber detonates car in southern Beirut -sources

Source: Reuters - Mon, 23 Jun 2014 22:32 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Adds details from scene)

BEIRUT, June 23 (Reuters) - A suicide bomber blew up his car in southern Beirut on Monday night near a security forces checkpoint, killing himself and damaging a nearby café, security sources and witnesses said.

The explosion, which occurred shortly before midnight (2100 GMT), killed the bomber and wounded several people who were watching the football World Cup at the cafe, the witnesses said.

Reuters television footage showed the blackened wreckage of a car, surrounded by damaged vehicles. Windows in nearby buildings were shattered by the blast, which occurred in a mainly Shi'ite Muslim district of southern Beirut inhabited by supporters of the Shi'ite group Amal, an ally of the militant movement Hezbollah.

Lebanon has been hit by violence spilling over from the civil war in neighboring Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is fighting mainly Sunni Muslim rebels trying to topple him.

Security forces have been on high alert since a suicide bomber killed one person and wounded 37 near the Syrian border on Friday in an attack that narrowly missed a security official.

One security source said before Monday night's explosion that security forces were hunting for two potential suicide bombers in the Lebanese capital. (Reporting by Laila Bassam and Dominic Evans; Editing by Toni Reinhold)

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