Sunni Militant Group Was Behind Suicide Bombings in Beirut

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-11_5146ac9d82.jpgRatib Al Safadi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images (BEIRUT) -- At least 23 people were killed and nearly 150 injured Tuesday after a double suicide bombing targeted the Iranian embassy in southern Beirut. According to numerous Lebanese media outlets, Iranian cultural attaché Ebrahim Ansari was among the dead.  Other victims included Lebanese security guards and civilians.

Hours after the bombings, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a Sunni militant group with ties to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the bombings. The group sent a message via Twitter that it would continue attacking targets inside Lebanon if the country's Shiite militia Hezbollah keeps fighting alongside government troops in Syria.

Meanwhile, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades is also demanding the release of its group's members being held as prisoners in Lebanon.

The violence is the latest instance of Syria's nearly three-year civil war destabilizing the region.  Lebanon has also become a refuge for more than 900,000 Syrians attempting to escape the conflict between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and opposition groups that include Islamist extremists.

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