A car bomb in Beirut’s southern suburbs has killed at least four people and wounded 46, according to Lebanon’s National News Agency which said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

The blast took place on a commercial street in the neighbourhood Haret Hreik, which is controlled by Shia militant group Hezbollah.

The Lebanese chapter of the Nusra Front, which is fighting against the Syrian regime and its ally Hezbollah, has claimed responsibility for the attack. “[The attack] was a response to the massacres by Iran’s party [Hezbollah] on the children of Syria and the children of Ersal,” a statement on Twitter said.

“There isn’t much we can do about such attacks and they seek to sow fear,” health minister Ali Hassan Khalil told a Lebanese TV station.

It is the latest car bomb attack attributed to Syria’s civil war.

At the end of December Mohamad Chatah, a senior adviser to Lebanon’s Sunni-led Future Movement leader Saad Hariri was killed in an explosion, less than a month after Hezbollah commander Hassan Lakkis was assassinated outside of his home in Beirut.

In November, the bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut killed at least 23 people and injured nearly 150.

Sectarian violence has also increased across the country. Lebanon’s army was forced to take control of the country’s second-largest city, Tripoli after more than 100 died during violent clashes in the weekend of 1 December.