Two car bombs killed at least eight people and wounded 78 in Beirut’s Sassine quarter, according to the latest official death toll.
The two vehicles detonated at approximately 2.45pm local time in a narrow street of the predominantly Christian neighbourhood, causing extensive damage to adjacent residential and commercial buildings.
A 46-year-old witness said he heard a loud explosion while working in his third-storey office, next to where the bomb went off. The man said he felt the pressure of the blast, and the windows shattered immediately.
He said there were at least four or five injured in his building, but he didn’t know of any deaths.
An elderly lady in the residential complex said she was watching television when she heard a loud “boom” that ripped through the area, and brought her small flat crumbling down.
“I heard a loud boom and then everything came falling down, the windows, the timber. This is my second explosion, God finish me from them,” she said hysterically.
The inside of one apartment I visited was in total ruins, every window shattered and debris scattered throughout.
Two security officials I spoke to at the scene said two car bombs went off, and originally gave me a death toll of three, but information was still being gathered at the time. Forensic experts were at the scene assessing the damage, while both officials said the death tolls and number injured were not final.
Given the extensive damage caused, and the number of residents and workers present when the bombs exploded, I wouldn’t be surprised it the death toll went higher.
Pics coming soon.
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