Large blast hits Lebanese capital

BBC breaking news graphic

There has been a large explosion in the Verdun neighbourhood of the Lebanese capital Beirut.The cause of the blast was not immediately known but TV footage showed a car burning near a building as a fire engine doused the flames.

Unconfirmed reports said the explosion in the Muslim area occurred in a car park near the Russian Cultural Centre.

On Sunday, a bomb near a major shopping centre in the Christian sector killed a woman and wounded 12 other people.

The blast came as Lebanese troops and Islamist militants fought running battles at a refugee camp near Tripoli.

—Same article reported later—

Large blast hits Lebanese capital

Map

A bomb has exploded in an upmarket area of the Lebanese capital Beirut injuring at least six people, police say.Local TV footage showed a car burning and at least one injured man as a fire engine doused the flames, although there were reports of other injuries.

The explosion happened in a car park near the Russian Cultural Centre, in a Muslim area of the city.

On Sunday, a bomb near a major shopping centre in the Christian sector killed a woman and wounded 12 other people.

The new blast came as Lebanese troops and Islamist militants fought running battles at a refugee camp near Tripoli.

Reuters news agency quoted the Lebanese army as saying the explosion was caused by a bomb placed either underneath or near a car.

Ambulances and firefighters with sirens blaring raced to the scene, which was enveloped in thick smoke.

Emergency services were searching nearby buildings to see if injured people were trapped inside.

Previous bomb attacks in Beirut have often been blamed on Syria, an accusation Damascus strongly denies.

The BBC’s Jon Leyne, in Beirut, says that somebody is clearly trying to destabilise the situation, but who that is is not entirely clear.

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