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Al Qaeda-Linked Group Claims Responsibility For Beirut Bombing

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People gather at the site of a blast on January 2, 2014 in Bir al-Abed district in the southern suburb of Beirut, which is considered a stronghold of Hezbollah. At least four people were killed on Thursday when a huge explosion rocked the southern suburb in Beirut. | Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

BEIRUT (AP) — An al-Qaida linked group has claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing last week in a Shiite-dominated south Beirut neighborhood.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant made the claim on Saturday in a statement posted onto a website page used by Sunni militants.

At least five people were killed in the Thursday attack.

It was the latest in a wave of attacks to hit Lebanon in recent months as Syria's civil war spills into its smaller neighbor.

The violence has targeted both Sunni and Shiites, further stoking sectarian tensions that are already running high as each community in Lebanon line up with their Syrian brethren on opposing sides of the war.

The al-Qaida linked group is battling to impose their extreme version of Islamic law in the region.

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