The car bomb blast that has killed at least eight people and injured dozens, is seen by residents as “a warning that there will be more attacks to come”, says the Telegraph’s Ruth Sherlock in Beirut.
A huge car bomb exploded in a street in central Beirut during rush hour on Friday, killing at least eight people and wounding about 80, witnesses and officials said.
The bomb exploded in the street where the office of the anti-Damascus Christian Phalange Party is located near Sassine Square in Ashafriyeh, a mostly Christian area.
The blast occurred during rush hour, when many parents were picking up children from school, and sent black smoke billowing into the sky.
Several cars were destroyed by the explosion and the front of a multi-storey building was badly damaged, with tangled wires and metal railings crashing to the ground.
The Telegraph’s correspondent Ruth Sherlock, who is at the bomb site, said that “there are people in floods of tears because their houses have been destroyed. On the street, almost every home has had its balcony shattered.”
She added: “Lebanon has already seen so many decades of warfare and people fear that this may be the start of another war. A lot of people are frightened that this is a warning that there will be more to come.”
In the aftermath, residents ran about in panic looking for relatives while others helped carry the wounded to ambulances. Security forces blanketed the area.
Ambulances ferried the wounded to several hospitals, where doctors, nurses and students waited for casualties at the doors.
The hospitals put out an appeal for blood donations.
The last bombing in Beirut was in 2008 when three people were killed in an explosion which damaged a US diplomatic car.