UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Thursday strongly condemned a deadly car bombing that rocks Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, earlier in the day.
"The secretary-general strongly condemns the car bomb explosion that targeted the neighborhood of Rouweiss in the southern Beirut suburbs today," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesperson.
Ban expressed his condolences for those killed and extended his deep sympathies to those injured.
A security source told Xinhua that a booby-trapped car, filled with around 50 kg of explosives, went off in the Bir el Abd area in the heartland of Hezbollah and left at least 17 people dead and 212 others injured.
A group dubbed the Brigades of Aisha Umm al-Moemeneen later claimed responsibility for the bombing in an online video and threatened to launch further attacks.
"Such acts of violence are completely unacceptable and only reinforce the determination of the international community to continue supporting Lebanon's security and stability at a time of severe regional turbulence," said the statement.
"During this period of heightened tensions, the secretary- general urges all Lebanese to remain united, to rally around their State institutions and to focus on safeguarding Lebanon's security and stability," the statement added.
In the statement, Ban also expressed his hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice as soon as possible.
Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati declared Friday a day of mourning for the victims of the attacks.
On July 9, a booby-trapped car exploded at a parking lot in Bir al-Abed area in Beirut, leaving 53 people wounded and causing heavy material damage.
In May, two rockets hit Beirut's southern suburb of Shiyyah, wounding four people.