Lebanon police intelligence chief killed by Beirut car bomb
Agence France Presse
Reuters photoLebanon police intelligence chief killed by Beirut car bomb.
Wissam al-Hassan, who was in charge of a top intelligence unit, was the brain behind uncovering a recent bomb plot that led to the arrest of a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician, Reuters reported.
A car bomb attack left at least 8 dead and 78 wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut today, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported.
An AFP photographer saw two apartment buildings devastated by the bombing in a narrow street near Sassin Square.
One building was still ablaze as Red Cross workers evacuated bloodied casualties.
Balconies were torn off by the force of the blast, windows shattered and cars crushed by falling masonry.
"We heard a powerful explosion. The earth shook under our feet," said Roland, 19, among a large crowd of army, rescue workers and onlookers at the scene.
Interior Minister Marwan Sharbel was at the scene of the first car bombing in Beirut since January 25, 2008 when Lebanon's top anti-terrorism investigator was slain along with three other people.
Three killed, 96 wounded in Beirut blast: ministry
At least three people were killed and 96 wounded by a powerful car bomb in Beirut on Friday, Health Minister Ali Hassa Khalil said.
Earlier, citing civil defence figures, the National News Agency had reported that eight people had died and 78 were hurt in the blast, which struck in a predominantly Christian area of east Beirut.
For his part, Prosecutor General Hatem Madi said the car had been thrown dozens of metres by the blast, which investigators told AFP was caused by an explosive charge of 30 kilogrammes.