A powerful car bomb on Friday afternoon killed at least eight people, including the intelligence chief of Lebanon's internal security forces, Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, witnesses and officials said.
Lebanon's state-run national news agency reported another 90 were wounded. Around 30 of them, mostly women and children, are in critical health as a reesult of the attack that took place in Sassine Square in Beirut's eastern Ashrafiya district, which is a predominantly Christian district. The blast was only 200 meters from the headquarters of the Maronite Christian party, the Phalange "Kataeb," which is hostile to the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Red Cross ambulances rushed to the scene of the blast as smoke rose from the area. It occurred during rush hour, when many parents had been picking up their children from school, according to Reuters.
Lebanese hospitals issued an urgent call for blood donors to help treat the wounded.
Lebanese broadcaster LBC said that, several buildings were badly damaged as Balconies were torn off as a result of the explosion, adding that security forces blanketed the area.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet. However, the political opposition "March 14" group associate the terrorist act in the Christian district with Syrian events. Lebanon is divided between those who support Assad, mainly from the Alawite sect linked to Shia Islam, and those who back Free Syrian fighters.
Some opposition leaders immediatley accused Syria and its agent of being behind the explosion.
It is worth mentioning that the slain Wissam al-Hassan was the brain behind uncovering a recent bomb plot that led to the arrest of a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician and former minister Michel Samaha.
Al-Hassan, who arrived in Beirut last night, was also close to , who is leader of the Lebanese opposition. He had been tipped to take over as ISF head at the end of this year.
Some sources had stated that al-Hassan was in France. He had left his family there for fear of being targeted, especially since they had obtained evidence proving the involvement of Hezbollah and Syria in the assassination of the former premier Rafiq Hariri and 22 other people, on February 14, 2005.
If you ask any Lebanese child who killed al-Hassan, he will reply, without any hesitation that it was Syria via its ally Hezbollah.
I previously stated several times, through my reports on Allvoices, that Assad will transfer the Syrian crisis to Lebanon. Perhaps he is also working on transfering it to Jordan. What happened today is a terrorist offense that did not target al-Hassan only but also targeted Lebanon's stability.
Hassan was fully aware that Hezbollah does not have any agenda in Lebanon except executing the orders of Syria and Iran. For this, I think he received many threatening letters before being targeted, which he did not even care about, as his only goal was the stability of Lebanon.
Syria has condemned the attack, thus we expect Hezbollah to denounce it too, but as of now al-Manar television news (Hezboallah TV) has not mentioned this news, ignoring it completely.
I think that this is the beginning, that the Syrian regime will target more of the Lebanese opposition members. Therefore I expect the worst and maybe the Lebanese civil war, which lasted for 15 years (1975-1990), will be back.
The direct cause of that war was the offender Bashar's father, Hafez al-Assad. Like father, like son!
Lebanese people must be vigilant about the Syrian conspiracy, even if they have to return the Marines again to Beirut so as to protect themselves.