People carry away a wounded person from the site of an explosion in Beirut, in this still image taken from video shot on November 12, 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
BEIRUT - Lebanese authorities arrested five Syrians and a Palestinian suspected of being implicated in the twin-suicide bombings in central Beirut on Thursday, a senior security source said on Saturday.
At least 43 people were killed and more than 240 wounded in the blasts claimed by Islamic State in a crowded residential district in Beirut's southern suburbs, a stronghold of the Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah.
The explosions were the first attacks in more than a year to target a Hezbollah stronghold inside Lebanon, and came at time when the group is stepping up its involvement in the Syrian civil war -- a fight which has brought Sunni Islamist threats and invective against the Iran-backed Shi'ite group.
The blasts occurred almost simultaneously late on Thursday and struck a Shi'ite community center and a nearby bakery in the commercial and residential area of Borj al-Barajneh, security sources said. A closely guarded Hezbollah-run hospital is also nearby.
Health Minister Wael Abu Faour said 43 people were killed and 240 people were wounded.
In July, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israel Police announced they had arrested and charged six Arab citizens, including four school teachers, with supporting and spreading Islamic State ideology.
Israeli security officials say a few dozen Israeli Arabs have left to fight alongside Islamic State in Syria, usually traveling through Turkey or Jordan.
According to a report by The Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor of MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), Islamic State has launched a media campaign releasing a series of videos in support of terror attacks and encouraging Palestinians to carry out more.
Islamic State does not have an operational presence on the ground in Israel, but its propaganda over the Internet has proved influential, with a handful of Arab-Israelis and Palestinians joining the fundamentalist movement in recent months.Daniel J. Roth and Ariel Ben Solomon contributed to this report.