Syria's civil war may be spreading beyond its borders

BEIRUT - On Wednesday, they began burying the dead in Beirut, Lebanon. Twin suicide bombings on Tuesday killed at least 23 people. The target was Iran's embassy, a sign perhaps that Syria's civil war next door is spreading beyond its borders. Iran backs the Assad dictatorship in Syria, and an al Qaeda offshoot that claimed responsibility for the bombings backs the rebels in Syria.

In security camera footage, the moment after the first blast, you can see people cautiously moving towards the scene. Then, the second much bigger bomb explodes.

At the scene of the blast, investigators sifted through the wreckage looking for evidence.

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Former president of Lebanon, Emile Lahoud, says the biggest enemies of Lebanon are the fundamentalists. CBS News
But Lebanon's former president, Emile Lahoud, told us he didn't need to see the results of that investigation.

Asked who was responsible for the attack, Lahoud said: "The enemies of Lebanon. And do you know who is the biggest enemy of Lebanon?

He added: "After experience, I can say that it is the fundamentalists."

An extremist group with ties to al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it revenge for Iran's support of Hezbollah. The Lebanese militia is fighting with Syrian government troops against the rebels inside Syria.

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CBS News was granted access to the funerals of the Hezbollah fighters killed in the embassy attack. CBS News
We were granted rare access to the funerals of four Hezbollah fighters killed in the bombing.There are thousands of people in this funeral procession marching through the streets of a Hezbollah stronghold. They're here not just to mourn the dead but to show solidarity in what they see as a battle for survival.

Lebanon is now braced for retaliation.

The atmosphere was emotionally charged. "Death to America!" the people shouted.

It's a traditional chant at Hezbollah events. But the real threat is much closer to home -- the real chance that Lebanon may be drawn deeper into Syria's civil war that is spreading through the region.

  • Clarissa Ward
    Clarissa Ward

    Foreign Correspondent, CBS News