At least 43 killed in twin suicide bombing attacks in Lebanon's capital Beirut

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BEIRUT : Twin suicide bombings struck a southern Beirut suburb that's a stronghold of the militant Shiite Hezbollah group on Thursday evening, killing at least 43 people and wounding scores more in one of the deadliest attacks in recent years in Lebanon . The attack was quickly claimed by the extremists Islamic State group ISIS , which is fighting in neighboring Syria and Iraq but has not had a recognized affiliate in Lebanon , though the tiny Mediterranean country has seen deadly spillovers from the civil war next door. Along with the 43 killed, the bombings also wounded 239 people, the Health Ministry announced. The Al-Mayadeen TV also reported there was a third would-be bomber, and showed a video of a bearded young man with an explosives' belt. The report said he died before he was able to detonate his explosives. Hospitals in southern Beirut called on people to donate blood and appealed on residents not to gather at hospital gates so that ambulances and emergency staff could work unhindered. Prime Minister Tammam Salam condemned the "cowardly criminal act," urging the Lebanese to unite. U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag also denounced the "heinous attack," stressing the need for those responsible to be brought to justice and saying that the international community was standing by Lebanon . Lebanon has been without president for over a year. The country has seen major protests in the past few months over the government's inability to agree on a solution for the crisis, and parliament has not functioned properly for years.

Middle East