At least five people have been killed and another 20 wounded when a powerful explosion occurred at the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital Beirut – stronghold of the Shia armed group Hezbollah.
The car bombing occurred during Thursday’s rush hour in the city’s Haret Hreik neighbourhood, but casualties were expected to be high given the size and the timing.
Images broadcast on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV showed smoke billowing at the site of the blast, and firefighters putting out several cars that were ablaze.
The footage showed at least one building that had its facade blown off, and several neighbouring buildings were also damaged.
Lebanon has been hit by a wave of bombings in recent months as the civil war in Syria increasingly spills over into its smaller neighbour.
Thursday’s explosion came a week after a car bombing killed Mohamad Chatah, a former finance minister, and six others.