Powerful explosion near bank in Beirut

Photo: Reuters


A bomb exploded outside the headquarters of Lebanese Blom Bank in central Beirut on Sunday, causing damage but no fatalities, the interior minister said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The Lebanese Red Cross said two people had suffered minor injuries in the blast, which took place around 8 p.m. in the Verdun area of Beirut, the National News Agency reported.

Local television showed footage of a damaged building, with one hole in a concrete wall, and said shattered glass had fallen to the ground from several storeys up.

The head of Lebanon’s internal security force, Ibrahim Basbous, said the bomb had contained around 15 kg of explosive material and had been placed in a flower bed, the National News Agency said.

Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk said: “Politically it is clear that the target was Blom Bank only.”

He said the attack had nothing to do with the militant group Islamic State, which has mounted suicide bombings in Beirut.

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