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IS militants claim responsibility for deadly Beirut blasts

The so-called Islamic State has claimed responsibility for two suicide bomb attacks in Beirut that left at least 43 people dead and more than 240 wounded.

The remnants of a motorbike used in the attacks are seen on the street in southern Beirut. Credit: Reuters

The bombings took place in a crowded residential district in the Lebanese capital's southern suburbs - a stronghold of the Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah.

The attacks come at a time that Hezbollah is stepping up involvement in the Syrian civil war, sending hundreds of fighters to support President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the conflict with mostly Sunni insurgents, including IS.

The action has prompted Sunni Islamist threats against the Iran-backed group.

Thursday's blasts struck a community centre and a nearby bakery in the commercial and residential area of Borj al-Barajneh, according to security sources.

In a statement posted online by its supporters, Islamic State said its members blew up a bike loaded with explosives - with a second suicide bomber waiting for crowds to gather before detonating his own device.

'At least 37' killed in double suicide bombing in Beirut

At least 37 people have been killed in two suicide bombings in Beirut, Lebanon's interior minister has said.

Dozens of others were injured after explosions ripped through a busy area of a southern suburb in the capital city, which has been a stronghold of the country's Hezbollah Shi'a Islamist militant group.

Residents inspect the aftermath of two explosions in Beirut's southern suburb, a stronghold of Lebanese Hezbollah. Credit: Reuters/Hasan Shaaban

Local media has said the attacks happened just outside a Shi'ite centre in the Borj al-Barajneh area.

Interior minister Nouhad Machnouk also said the attackers were on foot and wore explosive vests.


Middle East on edge after Hezbollah attack on Israel frontier

The Middle East is on edge tonight after a missile fired by Hezbollah fighters at a military convoy killed two Israeli soldiers.

It is the Islamic Militant group's most deadly attack on Israeli forces since their five week war nearly a decade ago.

Israel has promised to do whatever it takes to defend itself.

ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reports:

White House condems Hezbollah 'act of violence'

Credit: Reuters

The United States has condemned the deadly attack by Hezbollah on an Israeli military convoy that killed two Israeli soldiers, and urged both sides to "refrain from actions that could escalate the situation", according to Reuters.

"We urge all parties to refrain from any action that could escalate the situation," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a daily briefing.

A Spanish UN peacekeeper was also killed, but it is not yet known which side is responsible for his death, a UN spokesperson said.


Spanish PM offers condolences to family of UN peacekeeper

The Spanish Prime Minister has expressed his "deepest sympathy" to the family of the Spanish UN peacekeeper who was killed during fighting near the Israeli/Lebanese border earlier today.

In a Spanish-language tweet, Mariano Rajoy Brey said: "My deepest sympathy on the death of Spanish military in Lebanon . My love and condolences to his family and companions."

Netanyahu: Those responsible for convoy attack will 'pay full price'

Those responsible for the deadly attack on an Israeli military convoy near southern Lebanon "will pay the full price", the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.

Mr Netanyahu was speaking ahead of consultations with Israeli security chiefs on further military response to the Hezbollah assault.

Spanish UN peacekeeper killed in southern Lebanon

Burning vehicles are seen near the village of Ghajar on Israel's border with Lebanon. Credit: Reuters

The United Nations peacekeeper killed in southern Lebanon today was Spanish, Associated Press has reported.

Zeina Karam, AP's Beruit Bureau Chief says that the Israeli ambassador has called Spain's foreign minister today offering condolences for the death of the UN peacekeeper.

The peacekeeper, serving with a UN monitoring force in southern Lebanon, was killed as Israel responded with air strikes and artillery fire, a UN spokesman and Spanish officials said.

Lebanese PM: We are still committed to UN resolution

Lebanon has said that it is still committed to the UN resolution that ended a war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.

"The Lebanon reaffirms its commitment to Security Council resolution 1701," Prime Minister Tammam Salam said in a statement published by Lebanon's National News Agency, according to Reuters.

Salam's comments come in the aftermath of a Lebanese Hezbollah group attack on anIsraeli military convoy, which prompted retaliation from Israeli security forces.

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