Two explosions have struck near the Iranian Embassy in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, killing at least five people.

An Associated Press photographer counted at least five bodies after the blasts in south Beirut on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear what had caused the explosions, and local reports varied from rockets to car bombs.

The blasts in south Beirut's neighborhood of Janah also caused extensive damage on the nearby buildings and the Iranian mission. The area is a stronghold of the militant Hezbollah group, which is a main ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the civil war next door. It's not clear if the blasts are related to Syria's civil war.

The neighborhood has been hit by several explosions in the past weeks that killed and wounded scores.