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Associated Press
A Lebanese man runs in front of a burned car, at the scene where two explosions have struck near the Iranian Embassy killing many, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Iranian cultural attaché wounded in Beirut blasts

– Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon says the Iranian cultural attaché has been critically wounded in one of the two explosions that struck near the Iran Embassy in Beirut, killing 23 people.

Ambassador Ghazanfar Roknabadi did not name the attaché but Iranian state-run Arabic language al-Alam TV identified the diplomat as Sheikh Ibrahim Ansari.

Lebanese Health Minister Ali Khali says 23 people died and 146 were wounded in Tuesday’s explosions near the Iranian mission in southern Beirut.

The Lebanese National News Agency says the dead include two Iranian nationals.

The mid-morning blasts hit Beirut’s upscale neighborhood of Janah, a stronghold of the Shiite militant Hezbollah group. Attacks have targeted Lebanon’s Shiite strongholds recently in what many see as retaliation by Sunni extremists for Hezbollah’s role in Syria’s civil war.