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Beirut blast destroys front of several buildings

Many nearby buildings were damaged in the explosion. Credit: RTV

A powerful blast hit southern Beirut this afternoon, killing five people according to the health ministry and wounding at least 20.

The debris from the blast was strewn across the street. Credit: RTV

The blast sent a column of smoke into the sky and destroyed the front of many nearby buildings.

The city has been recently hit by a number of attacks recently, including one last week which killed a former minister.

Emergency services douse flames after Beirut blast

People gather as firefighters attempt to extinguish a fire after the blast. Credit: Reuters

A powerful explosion in Shi'ite group Hezbollah's southern Beirut stronghold killed five people on sending a column of smoke into the sky, a witness said.

Television footage showed the twisted and blackened remains of several cars being doused with hoses by emergency services.

A man holds a rifle at the site of the explosion. Credit: Reuters

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Lebanon 'arrests leader behind Iran embassy bombing'

Lebanon's defence minister has said that troops have arrested the leader of the group thought to be behind bombing of the Iranian embassy in November, AFP reports.

Soldiers and police surround the scene of an explosion near the Iranian embassy Credit: Reuters

Maged al-Maged, the head of the al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades, was reportedly detained by Lebanese troops in Beirut.

The embassy attack killed 23 people including the Iranian cultural attache on November 19.

Tensions continue between Lebanon and Israel

Israel has launched artillery fire across its border with Lebanon in response to two rockets fired in the other direction, according to reports.

Two rockets struck near the town of Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel on Sunday, causing no injuries or damage.

More than 20 Israeli shells then hit near two southern border towns in Lebanon, a witness told Reuters.

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