An explosion in a southern Beirut suburb that is considered a Hizballah stronghold killed at least five people on Thursday, extending a wave of deadly blasts in the Lebanese capital.
The explosion, a few hundred yards from the political offices of Hizballah, injured 20 others, the Associated Press reports. A Lebanese security official told the AP that it appeared to be a car bomb, though the cause has not been confirmed.
The city has been hit with a series of bomb attacks amid an intensifying showdown that has spilled over from Syria’s two-and-a-half-year civil war. Hizballah, a Shi‘ite militant group that has significant influence in Lebanese politics, has sent fighters to support the government of President Bashar Assad.
“This is a conversation carried out through bombs,” Benedetta Berti, co-author of Hezbollah and Hamas: A Comparative Study, told TIME last week.
Last week, a car bomb killed a former minister and ambassador to the U.S. Mohamad Chatah, a Sunni politician and outspoken critic of Hizballah. In November, a suicide bomber at the embassy of Iran — a Hizballah backer — killed 23 people.