ONE diplomat was among the dead according to Iran’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi. He identified the diplomat as Sheikh Ibrahim Ansari. The ambassador says Ansari took his post in Lebanon a month ago and was overseeing all regional cultural activities.
A further 150 people have been injured.
According to Lebanese officials, the first explosion was caused by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle and the second, just minutes later, was caused by a car bomb parked two buildings away from the embassy.
The main gate to the embassy was blown out and there was damage to the three-storey building, Lebanese television stations said.
“At one entrance of the Iranian embassy I counted six bodies outside. I saw body parts around and thrown two streets away,” Reuters television cameraman Issam Abdullah said from the scene.
The area surrounding the embassy is considered a Hezbollah stronghold. It has been hit with several attacks in recent months.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati has called the attack “a cowardly terrorist act”, Lebanese state news agency NNA reported. “The aim of the blast is to stir up the situation in Lebanon and use the Lebanese arena to convey messages,” he said.
The al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigade have reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.
A spokesperson from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs commented this
morning adding that they “condemn the attack in Bruit this morning and are not
aware of any Irish citizens involved”.