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WASHINGTON – A car bomb explosion in the Shiite Hezbollah stronghold Dahiyeh in south Beirut that killed at least 18 people and wounded some 340 may be the beginning of a new round of Shiite-Sunni sectarian violence in Lebanon and shows al-Qaida has declared war on the Iranian-backed group, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The impact of this attack in a Hezbollah high security area may well prompt the resistance group, which the United States and Israel regard as a terrorist organization, to confront directly the al-Qaida-affiliated group al-Nusra. The result could become urban warfare in Beirut and the surrounding area.

Jabhat al-Nusra is linked to the armed Syrian opposition seeking to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Hezbollah and Iran back the embattled Syrian president and have sent fighters to assist the Syrian military to roll back the opposition.

In response, al-Nusra had threatened to send fighters into Lebanon to attack areas controlled by Hezbollah.

This latest explosion is the largest to date of such attacks on Hezbollah areas of control and is considered the most significant since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war in Lebanon.

“Observing the massive response as it is unfolding,” one source at the scene emailed to WND, “This (attack) is major – al-Nusra has set up operations in Dahiyeh? Looks like war.

“Hezbollah is everywhere – not with guns by the hundreds but by the thousands!” the source said. “Checkpoints are every 100 yards.”

This explosion follows another car bomb that detonated last month in the same Hezbollah area of Dahiyeh, but there were no casualties then.

“It was clear that this was an attack on Hezbollah,” said the owner of a restaurant just around the corner from the blast site.

The explosion blew a hole in the street between two tall apartment buildings and blew off the fronts of shops, setting a dozen of cars on fire. Bodies littered the street.

The source initially described to WND the location of some stores and a butcher shop next to a Banque Libano-Francaise and a Harkous Chicken Restaurant.

However, as he looked more closely at what he thought initially were sheep or cow carcasses – a common sight in the area – something he saw turned out to be the shredded body of the alleged perpetrator. The attacker had been thrown across the road and the body was lodged between two thick workmen’s planks hanging some 12 feet off the ground on a rusty, thick metal scaffolding.

In addition to injuring 340 people, the blast also left some 350 families displaced.

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