Twin suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State killed dozens of people and wounded more than 200 in Beirut on Thursday, raising fears of intensified attempts by the radical Sunni group to undermine Lebanon’s fragile stability.
In the worst attack to hit the Lebanese capital in years, assailants targeted a southern suburb where many loyalists of the powerful Shiite Hezbollah militia live. The explosions killed at least 37 people, officials said, and left little doubt that the attackers struck with the intent of stirring up Lebanon’s volatile sectarian divisions.
Hezbollah is fighting alongside Syrian government forces against the Sunni-led rebellion in Syria, drawing the ire of such militantly anti-Shiite groups as the Islamic State. Lebanon faced a string of similar bombings more than a year ago that also targeted the largely Shiite areas of Beirut.