Two suspected suicide bombings in the southern suburbs of Beirut have left at least 41 people dead, Reuters reports citing the Interior Ministry. The death toll is expected to rise with Lebanon’s Red Cross putting the number of those injured at 181.
Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the explosions.
The first blast occurred outside a Shiite Mosque, while the other took place inside a nearby bakery just before 6 p.m. The suicide bombers were wearing explosives vests, AFP reports.
The second bomb reportedly went off seven minutes later as passers-by tried to help those injured in the initial blast.
A potential third attacker was killed before he managed to blow himself up. He was found dead with his legs torn off but still wearing an explosives’ belt, a Lebanese security official reported, according to AP.
The explosions rocked the commercial area in the southern Borj al-Barajneh suburb of the Lebanese capital, BNO News reported. The busy neighborhood is regarded a stronghold of Shiite movement Hezbollah.
Hospitals in the south of Beirut are encouraging people to donate blood due to an unprecedented number of casualties.
People are also asked to leave the area since their presence is hindering ambulances from taking the injured to medical institutions. There is still the possibility of further attacks being carried out.
The Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam has declared a day of national mourning on Friday November 13, following the deadly attacks.
In response, Hezbollah fighters have promised to keep on fighting against the terrorists saying, “It’s a long fight between us,” Reuters reports.
Lebanon has been rocked by several explosions this year, which have killed dozens of people. The latest attack saw a bomb blast in the town of Arsal, near the Syrian border. The bomb was hidden in a motorcycle and killed six people, according to the National News Agency.