Car bomb hits centre of Beirut

Sunday, October 21, 2012

View of Sassine Square
Image: Sassinemichel.

On Friday, an explosion in Sassine Square, in the mainly Christian part of Ashrafiya, killed three and injured more than eighty in a car bomb attack in the Lebanese capital Beirut, including senior Lebanese intelligence official Wissam al-Hassan.

The bomb also destroyed several cars and badly damaged a multistory building. Witnesses said it could be heard several kilometers away. The area is home to the headquarters of the Maronite Christian group Kataeb.

We have been warning for a year. Enough.

—Sami al-Gemayel

Although the target of the attack is unclear, it comes at a time of heightened tensions in Lebanon because of the Syrian civil war. The leader of Kataeb, which is also known as the Phalange, Sami al-Gemayel is a strong opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He said: "Let the state protect the citizens. We will not accept any procrastination in this matter, we cannot continue like that. We have been warning for a year. Enough."

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