Via the Telegraph: Beirut car bomb: Lebanese police intelligence chief reported dead
Wissam al-Hassan, who was in charge of a top intelligence unit, was the brain behind uncovering a recent bomb plot that led to the arrest of a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician.
An AFP photographer saw two apartment buildings devastated by the bombing in a narrow street off Sassine Square in Ashrafieh. One building was still ablaze as Red Cross workers evacuated bloodied casualties.
The bombing, near the headquarters of a Christian party, the Phalange, comes at a time of high tensions and divisions in Lebanon as a result of the conflict in neighbouring Syria.
Georges Kettaneh, in charge of the Red Cross operation, said at least 37 people were wounded.
Balconies were torn off by the force of the blast, windows shattered and cars crushed by falling masonry.