Discuss as:

Rockets hit south Beirut after Hezbollah vows Syria victory

Hussein Malla / AP

Lebanese soldiers investigate at a damaged room where a rocket struck an apartment in a building at Chiyah district, south of Beirut, Lebanon, on Sunday.

BEIRUT - Two rockets hit a Shiite Muslim district of southern Beirut on Sunday and wounded several people, residents said, a day after the leader of Lebanese Shiite militant movement Hezbollah said his group would continue fighting in Syria until victory. 

It was the first attack to apparently target Hezbollah's stronghold in the south of the Lebanese capital since the outbreak of the two-year conflict in neighboring Syria, which has sharply heightened Lebanon's own sectarian tensions. 

One of the rockets landed in a car sales yard next to a busy road junction in the  Chiyah neighborhood and the other hit an apartment several hundred meters away, wounding five people, residents said. 

There was no immediate claim of responsibility and the army said it was investigating who was behind the attack. 

Syria saw one of the deadliest days of fighting in its civil war Saturday. Meanwhile, the leader of the powerful Lebanese militant group Hezbollah said his fighters would wage an all-out battle to save President Bashar Assad. NBC's Richard Engel reports.

A Lebanese security source said three rocket launchers were found, one of which had failed to launch, in the hills to the southeast of the Lebanese capital, about 5 miles from the area where the two rockets landed. 

The rocket strikes came hours after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, a powerful supporter of President Bashar al-Assad in neighboring Syria's civil war, said his fighters were committed to the conflict whatever the costs

"We will continue to the end of the road. We accept this responsibility and will accept all sacrifices and expected consequences of this position," he said in a televised speech on Saturday evening. "We will be the ones who bring victory." 

Syria's two-year uprising has polarized Lebanon, with Sunni Muslims supporting the rebellion against Assad and Shiite Hezbollah and its allies standing by Assad. 

Until recently, Nasrallah insisted that Hezbollah had not sent guerrillas to fight alongside Assad's forces, but in his speech on Saturday he said it had been fighting in Syria for several months to defend Lebanon from radical Islamist groups he said were now driving Syria's rebellion. 

Qusair offensive
Hezbollah forces and Assad's troops launched a fierce assault last week aimed at driving Syrian rebels out of Qusair, a strategic town close to the Lebanese border which rebels have used as a supply route for weapons coming into the country. 

Nasrallah's speech was condemned by Sunni Muslim former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri who said that Hezbollah, set up by Iran in the 1980s to fight Israeli occupation forces in south Lebanon, had abandoned anti-Israeli "resistance" in favor of sectarian conflict in Syria. 

"The resistance is ending by your hand and your will," Hariri said in a statement. "The resistance announced its political and military suicide in Qusair." 

Hariri is backed by Saudi Arabia, which along with other Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab monarchies has strongly supported the uprising against Iranian-backed Assad, whose minority Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shiite Islam. 

Lebanon, haunted by its own 1975-1990 civil war and torn by the same sectarian rifts as its powerful neighbor, has sought to pursue a police of "dissociation" from the Syrian turmoil. 

But it is struggling to deal with nearly half a million refugees who have fled the fighting in Syria and its northern city of Tripoli has seen frequent explosions of violence between Sunni Muslims and the small Alawite community. 

At least 25 people have been killed in Tripoli over the last week in street fighting which has coincided with the battle for Qusair across the border. 

Related: