BEIRUT – Three bombs planted under a car exploded south of Beirut on Saturday, wounding two people in an attack that apparently targeted an official from the Palestinian militant group Hamas, the state-run news agency said.
The official National News Agency said the explosion was caused by "three bombs tied to each other" that were placed under the car of an official believed to be from Hamas.
But Lebanese security officials told The Associated Press they could not independently confirm what caused the blasts or who the explosions targeted. The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which controls the area, sealed off the streets in the southern suburb of Haret Hreik and prevented journalists from getting close to the scene.
One senior police official said the blast occurred in a neighborhood that houses an office belonging to Hamas.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
A Hezbollah official contacted by The Associated Press declined to comment, saying he had no information.
Osama Hamdan, the Hamas representative in Lebanon, was not available for comment Saturday. A person who answered his mobile phone aid he was not available and that he had no information on the explosion.
The explosion comes on the even of Ashoura, Shiite Islam's most important religious holiday.
Explosions in the area, which is almost completely controlled by the Shiite Hezbollah, are very rare. Hezbollah has its own arsenal with tens of thousands of rockets and missiles, which it says it needs to fight off any threat from Israel.
The area was bombed out by Israel during the monthlong 2006 war with Hezbollah.
Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah is expected to address tens of thousands of supporters commemorating the Ashoura holiday by video link on Sunday.