Haret Hreik, the suburb hit by Thursday's bomb is associated with the Shia group Hezbollah. According to the AP, the explosion was likely a car bomb. It hit during evening rush hour. It destroyed several cars, and damaged many nearby buildings, according to local television footage from the scene. Although the cause and motivation behind the blast is not confirmed, many believe it is connected to rising tensions in the country between Sunni and Shia Muslims, made worse by the civil war in Syria. Last week's explosion killed Lebanese Finance Minister Mohammed Chatah, who was an outspoken critic of both Hezbollah and Syrian president Bashar al Assad. Chatah was also a former ambassador to the U.S.
The blast reportedly took out landlines in Beirut, even for residents far from the latest blast site, making communication (and thus, details about what exactly happened) difficult. We'll add more to this developing story as information becomes available.