Beirut, Oct 19: Lebanon’s senior security official Wissam El Hassan died in Friday’s car bomb explosion in a eastern district of Beirut, reported Xinhua citing security sources speaking on condition of anonymity.
The bombing was targeting the convoy of Wissam El Hassan, head of the Internal Security Forces’ information branch, the sources said, revealing to Xinhua that the brigadier general was killed on the spot.
In addition, eight other people were killed and more than 80 were injured in the explosion.
The car bomb went off earlier Friday outside a residential building near Sassin square in the district of Ashrafieh, medical sources told Xinhua.
Police evacuated the residential building and medics rushed to the scene to rescue the many injured, they added.
Flames were seen burning in the blast zone and glass splinters were seen scattered on the ground, apparently from the shattered window panes of some nearby residential and commercial buildings.
The explosion, the first of its kind in Beirut since 2008, came amid high tensions and rifts in Lebanon’s politics as a result of the conflict in neighbouring Syria.