At least eight killed in Beirut bomb blast

A large bomb exploded in the heart of Beirut’s Christian section on Friday, killing a top Lebanese security official and at least seven others, wounding dozens and spreading panic in a city where memories of sectarian violence from Lebanon’s long civil war have been resurrected by the conflict in neighboring Syria.

The security official, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, was apparently the intended target of the explosion.

The explosion shook the neighborhood just before 3 p.m., sending black smoke rising over the Sassine area, a wealthy shopping and residential district.

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