BEIRUT — An explosion tore through a crowded commercial street Thursday in a south Beirut neighborhood that is bastion of support for the Shi’ite group Hezbollah, killing at least five people, setting cars ablaze, and sending a column of black smoke above the Beirut skyline.
It was the latest in a wave of attacks to hit Lebanon in recent months as the civil war in Syria increasingly spills over into its smaller neighbor. The violence has targeted both Sunni and Shi’ite neighborhoods, further stoking sectarian tensions that are already running high as each community in Lebanon lines up with its brethren in Syria on opposing sides of the war.
The Lebanese army said 44 pounds of explosives were placed in a dark green SUV. It said authorities were investigating how the explosives were set off. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.