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Lebanon: Deadly explosion rocks Lebanese capital Beirut

Friday 19 October 2012, by siawi3

19 October 2012 Last updated at 13:26 GMT
Source :

A car burns at the site of an explosion in east Beirut, 19 October 2012 The explosion occurred in a busy part of east Beirut

A car-bomb blast has killed at least eight people and injured more than 70 in Beirut, Lebanese officials say.

The explosion occurred in Sassine Square, a busy part of the mainly Christian district of Ashrafiya in the centre of the city.

Ambulances have been seen rushing to square. Witnesses say the blast was heard several kilometres away.

The intended target is unclear. Tensions in Lebanon have been rising as a result of the conflict in Syria.

Friday’s attack is the first major car bomb attack in Beirut for four years.

It occurred about 200m (650ft) from the headquarters of the Kataeb, better known as the Phalange, a Maronite Christian group. The general secretariat of the Western-backed 14 March coalition of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri is also based there.

Several cars were set on fire as a result of the blast. TV footage showed considerable damage to buildings.

A nearby hospital is calling for people to donate blood to help treat the wounded