A car on fire following the explosion
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Intelligence chief al-Hassan killed in Beirut car blast

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

About 78 people are also reported to have been wounded in the explosion in Sassine Square, a busy part of the city's eastern Ashrafiya district.

The BBC's Richard Colebourn says it is likely that intelligence chief Wissam al-Hassan - who was said to be close to opposition leader Saad Hariri, a leading critic of the government in neighbouring Syria - was the target of the attack.

  • 19 Oct 2012