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Explosion in Beirut suburb as Iran FM tours Lebanon's border with Israel

The explosion occurred at an apartment belonging to a man previously arrested for manufacturing explosive devices and working with foreign agents.
Children offer flowers to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahianin during his visit to the southern Lebanese village of Maroun al-Ras near the border with Israel, on April 28, 2023. - Abdollahian called on Lebanon on April 27 to overcome political deadlock and elect a president, urging foreign governments not to interfere in the choice. (Photo by Mahmoud ZAYYAT / AFP) (Photo by MAHMOUD ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images)

BEIRUT — A woman was killed in an explosion at an apartment in the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital Beirut on Thursday, according to local reports.

Lebanon's official National News Agency said that the apartment was in the Jamous neighborhood — known as a stronghold for the Iran-backed Hezbollah group — belongs to a man identified as M.G., who was arrested by the Lebanese army last month following another blast at the same apartment.

The victim was reportedly the aunt of M.G., and according to the pro-Hezbollah al-Manar website, his mother and another man were inside the apartment at the time.

There are conflicting reports about what caused the explosion. Some media outlets have reported that a bomb went off, while others blamed remnants of explosive devices. A correspondent for the US-funded Al-Hurra news site wrote that dozens of explosive devices were seized when the army raided the apartment in March after the initial explosion. According to al-Manar, the army did a thorough search of the apartment before returning it to M.G.’s family two days ago.

In a statement, the Lebanese army said its March investigation revealed that M.G. was working as an agent in the service of a foreign entity and that he was linked to another man arrested in Aramoun, south of Beirut. The latter, it read, confessed to buying material for the manufacture of explosives, which he intended to deliver to M.G. to carry out armed attacks across the country upon the orders of foreign agents.

Iran's foreign minister meets Nasrallah

On Friday, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah hosted Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as part of his visit to Beirut this week. The two discussed the latest regional developments including the recent Iranian-Saudi deal and its repercussions on the region as well as the situation in the Palestinian territories.

Iranian media outlets reported that Amir-Abdollahian toured southern Lebanon near the border with Israel on Friday. A video shared on social media showed the top Iranian diplomat accompanied by Lebanese officials in the southern town of Maroun al-Ras. 

“We are here in Maroun al-Ras to announce once again, loud and clear, that we support the resistance against the occupation,” Amir-Abdollahian was quoted by the Iranian Tasnim News Agency as saying.

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