Lebanese authorities have identified the second suicide bomber who attacked the Iranian embassy in Beirut this week as a Palestinian man with ties to a fugitive Lebanese Islamist cleric, a security source has told Reuters.
At least 23 were killed and 146 wounded following the blasts targeting the Iranian Embassyon Tuesday, according to the Lebanese health minister.
Lebanese authorities had identified the first suicide bomber a day earlier as a Lebanese man with ties to hardline Sunni Muslim groups.
The source said the second bomber, who lived in southern Lebanon, was a follower of Ahmed al-Assir, a firebrand Sunni Muslim cleric whose militant supporters fought a two-day battle with the Lebanese army in June after barricading themselves in a mosque in the southern port city of Sidon.
Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned what he describes as a "shocking terrorist attack" after at least 23 people were killed following blasts near the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.
I strongly condemn the shocking terrorist attack on the Iranian embassy in southern Beirut today that has led to such tragic loss of life. I send my condolences to the families of those killed and injured. The UK is strongly committed to supporting stability in Lebanon and seeing those responsible for this attack brought to justice.
Our Embassy in Beirut remains at a high state of vigilance. A consular team stands ready to assist British nationals.
A Lebanon-based al-Qaeda affiliate has claimed responsibility for the double suicide attack on the Iranian embassy which killed 23 people, according to the Twitter page of a cleric linked to the group.
"The Abdullah Azzam brigades - the Hussein bin Ali cells - may they please God - are behind the attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut," Sheikh Sirajeddine Zuraiqat, the group's religious guide, posted on Twitter.
The group threatened to carry out further attacks until Iran pulled its forces out of Syria and their prisoners were released from Lebanese jails.