Blast: Eighteen people have been wounded in a car bomb in a Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut, Lebanon
Destruction: The blast occurred this morning in the south suburbs which are dominated by the Lebanese Shi'ite Hezbollah militant group that has been fighting in Syria's civil war, security sources said
Target:: The blast was apparently targeted a shopping mall in the Bir al-Abed area
Verdict: 'This is the work of agents trying to create strife in Lebanon,' said Hezbollah parliamentary Deputy Ali Meqdad at the site of the explosion
A Reuters reporter on the scene saw a large fire raging at the site of the blast, which apparently targeted a shopping mall in the Bir al-Abed area.
Shock: Lebanese firefighters and residents gather at the site of the explosion in Bir al-Abed residential area
Climate: Tensions in Lebanon have been high following the intervention of Hezbollah in support of President Bashar al-Assad's forces fighting a two-year revolt led by Syria's Sunni Muslim majority
Emergency: Civil Defence members extinguish the fire. Fires were raging from dozens of cars which were set ablaze in the parking lot where the car rigged with explosives was left
Ambulances and fire engines sped through the streets to rescue casualties.
Hezbollah gunmen cordoned off the area of the blast, which damaged cars and buildings.
Fires were raging from dozens of cars which were set ablaze in the parking lot where the car rigged with explosives was left.
'I haven't heard an explosion like this one since the 1980s(when a car bomb targeted Hezbollah's late spiritual leader Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah)' a woman in southern Beirut said.
Shopping areas would likely have been full today, the day before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins.
The attack is the second strike to hit Shi'ite southern Beirut this year.
Attack: A pillar of dense black smoke billowed above surrounding high-rise apartment blocks. Ambulances and fire engines sped through the streets to rescue casualties
Frequency: The attack is the second strike to hit Shi'ite southern Beirut this year. Two rockets hit the area in May and Lebanese security forces have disarmed several rockets near Beirut in recent months as well
Injured: Hezbollah's al-Manar Television said five people were injured when a car bomb exploded in the parking lot of a building housing a religious center and a supermarket in the heavily populated area
Threats: Sunni Muslim militant groups have threatened to carry out attacks against Hezbollah following its military intervention in Syria
Assistance: Men gather near burning cars at the site of an explosion
It was unclear who was behind Tuesday's blast or May's attack.
It was unclear whether any members of the Hezbollah leadership were in the area on Tuesday.
The last car bomb to hit Beirut targeted a senior intelligence official in October. Wissam al-Hassan was part of the country's leading Sunni opposition party, which has supported the uprising in Syria.
Syria's conflagration has polarised Lebanon, a country of four million that is still healing from its own 15-year civil war, a conflict that divided the country along similar sectarian lines now plaguing Syria.
Lebanon's Sunni Muslims mostly support the rebels in Syria, while Shi'ites have largely supported Assad, who is part of the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.
Sunni Muslim militant groups have threatened to carry out attacks against Hezbollah following its military intervention in Syria.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has promised that his group will continue fighting for Assad after it spearheaded the recapture of the strategic town of Qusair last month.
Nasrallah said Hezbollah was aware of the cost of military engagement in Syria's civil war and would not be deflected from its goal.
Investigation: Forensic experts inspect the remnants of the car bomb at the scene of the attack
Aftermath: Security forces stand at the scene of a bombing as they examine the aftermath
Defiant: A Lebanese supporter of Hezbollah hang pictures of Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah (left), Ayatollah Khomeini (centre) and Ayatollah Khomeini (right) on his damaged balcony