Explosion shakes Lebanese capital Beirut

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A blast at a Lebanese military checkpoint shook the capital Beirut on Monday, wounding at least five people, Al Arabiya correspondent Adnan Gamloush reported.

The blast occurred when a suicide bomber blew up his car near the checkpoint, killing himself and damaging a nearby café, security sources and witnesses said.

Nineteen people, who were watching the World Cup in the café were wounded following the incident, according to Reuters news agency.

Television footage showed the blackened wreckage of a car, surrounded by damaged vehicles. Windows in nearby buildings were shattered by the blast, which occurred in an area of southern Beirut inhabited by supporters of the Shi’ite group Amal, an ally of the militant movement Hezbollah.

Play the above video to watch the latest footage from the explosion

The explosion, which happened shortly before midnight (2100 GMT), came just three days after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden car near a police checkpoint in eastern Lebanon, killing a policeman and wounding several other people.

The car bomb went off near the Abu Assaf cafe, where people had gathered to watch the World Cup matches.

Lebanon has been hit by violence spilling over from the civil war in neighboring Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is fighting mainly Sunni Muslim rebels trying to topple him.

Security forces have been on high alert since a suicide bomber killed one person and wounded 37 near the Syrian border on Friday in an attack that narrowly missed a security official, according to Reuters.

One security source said before Monday night’s explosion that security forces were hunting for two potential suicide bombers in the Lebanese capital.