Al-Qaeda group apologizes for civilian deaths in Lebanon

Lebanese firefighters extinguish burned cars at the site of an explosion, near the Kuwaiti Embassy and Iran’s cultural center, in the suburb of Beir Hassan, Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A militant group issued a rare apology Saturday for a twin suicide bombing in Beirut that killed eight people and wounded dozens, including children from a nearby orphanage.

The al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades issued a statement on militant websites apologizing for civilian deaths.

It said a “technical fault” affected the second of two Feb. 19 suicide bombings targeting an Iranian cultural center in Beirut, but didn’t specify what it was. The group insisted its suicide bombers were trained to not target civilians.

“We affirm, always to our suicide bombers, to be cautious, and to abort any operation if they believe it will hit others but the targeted,” it said.

More than a dozen bombings have targeted Shiite-dominated areas of Lebanon in recent months.

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