Global Politics

Beirut Blast 'Kills Intelligence Official Wissam al-Hassan'

Beirut_Bombing_Car_Burning_Ashrafieh-e1350668551749.jpg

A car burns at the site of an explosion in Ashrafieh, east Beirut, October 19, 2012. At least two people were killed and 15 wounded in a roadside bomb that exploded in central Beirut on Friday, a security source said. REUTERS/Hasan Shaaban (LEBANON -Tags: - Tags: CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Credit:

REUTERS

BBC — A senior Lebanese intelligence official was among at least eight people killed in a massive car bomb attack in central Beirut, state media say.

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Wissam al-Hassan was said to be close to opposition leader Saad Hariri, a leading critic of the government in neighboring Syria.

No group has claimed Friday's attack, which was condemned by Damascus. Dozens of people were injured.

Tensions in Lebanon have been rising as a result of the Syrian conflict.

Lebanon's religious communities are divided between those who support the government of Syrian President Bashar-al Assad — notably the Shia — and those, such as many Sunnis, who back the rebels.

Friday's attack was the deadliest in Beirut since 2008. Read more>>

Anchor Marco Werman speaks with Al-Monitor's Ben Gilbert, who is in Beirut.