BEIRUT (Reuters) - Several people were killed or wounded when a car bomb hit Beirut's southern suburbs on Tuesday, a stronghold for the Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting in Syria's civil war, medics said.
Tensions in Lebanon have been high following the intervention of Hezbollah in support of President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces are fighting a two-year revolt led by Syria's Sunni Muslim majority.
Clouds of black smoke were rising over apartment blocks in the southern suburbs. A Reuters reporter on the scene saw a large fire raging at the blast site, which apparently targeted a shopping mall in the Bir al-Abed area. The area is also home to many Hezbollah political offices.
Shopping areas would likely have been full on Tuesday, the day before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins.
The attack is the second strike to hit Shi'ite southern Beirut this year. Two rockets hit the area in May and Lebanese security forces have disarmed several rockets near Beirut in recent months as well.
It was unclear who was behind Tuesday's blast or May's attack.
(Reporting by Laila Bassam; Writing by Erika Solomon; Editing by Giles Elgood and Jon Boyle)
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