Oct 19 2012
A huge car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in the worst blast the city has seen in years, officials have said.
Security and Red Cross officials said at least 61 people were wounded. The state news agency said 78 were wounded.
The huge blast sheared the balconies off residential buildings and sent bloodied victims pouring out into the streets in the most serious blast the Lebanese capital has seen in years.
A reporter at the scene saw victims with grave injuries.
One young girl was bleeding profusely from her head; other wounded were being loaded into ambulances.
"I was standing nearby in Sassine Square and I heard a big explosion and I ran straight to it," resident Elie Khalil told The Associated Press. He said he saw at least 15 bloodied people in a nearby car park before medics arrived and took them to a hospital.
The motive behind the blast and its target were not immediately clear. It comes at a time when Lebanon has seen a rise in tension and eruptions of clashes stemming from the civil war in neighbouring Syria.