Hizballah stronghold in S. Lebanon rocked by powerful blast

Hizballah members have cordoned off the southern Lebanese village of Ain Qana overlooking the port city of Sidon, after a strong explosion on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 22, damaged buildings and caused panic among its residents. Footage broadcast by the local Al Jadeed station showed debris scattered across a large area. The shaky footage also showed what appeared to be a minibus on fire. Other footage showed a wrecked SUV parked outside a damaged house. The cause of the blast is not known. There was no immediate comment from the Lebanese government.

Hizballah spokesman are claiming that the blast at Ain Qana, 50km south of Beirut, coincided with “intense Israeli overflights over the area” from Tuesday morning. The Israeli military had no comment.

The Hizballah media office told Al Jazeera the explosion was caused by a “technical error” at their arms depot, which sent a huge column of black smoke into the sky. This explosion at a house that stored weapons was caused by a technical error, it was claimed. No one was killed or injured. “The building belonged to a Hizballah affiliated de-mining association.”

Hizballah is known to have distributed its arsenal of tens of thousands of rockets and missiles in different parts of Shiite-dominated southern Lebanon. It is again accused of caching them in residential areas in disregard of the jeopardy to civilians. The same charge was leveled against the Shiite terrorist group after a huge explosion and fire a caused by the detonation of nearly 3,000 tons of improperly stored ammonium nitrate at Beirut port seven weeks ago killed nearly 200 people and flattened tens of thousands of city buildings.

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