A powerful explosion hit the southern suburbs of Beirut on Thursday afternoon in a neighborhood populated by supporters of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia and political party, in what appeared to be the latest in a spree of bombings and reprisal bombings over Hezbollah’s support for the government of neighboring Syria in that country’s civil war.

Hezbollah’s Al Manar television channel showed scenes of chaos in a residential area, with smoke rising above charred cars, crowds of people pushing past one another and ambulances and fire trucks arriving at the scene. The channel said that at least three people had been killed and eight wounded.

The blast came six days after a car bomb killed a prominent member of the Future bloc, the Sunni party that is Hezbollah’s main political rival. And it came a day after reports surfaced of the arrest by Lebanese authorities of a Saudi militant who leads the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a group affiliated with Al Qaeda that claimed responsibility for a November suicide bombing at the Beirut embassy of Iran, Hezbollah’s ally. […]