Le chef des renseignements de la police libanaise a été tué vendredi dans un attentat à la voiture piégée à Beyrouth, faisant craindre une reprise des assassinats qui avaient visé entre 2005 et 2008 des personnalités hostiles à Damas, ancienne puissance de tutelle.

L'attaque a fait deux autres morts et près d'une centaine de blessés, a indiqué le ministre de la Santé Ali Hassan Khalil.

L'attentat a visé le chef des renseignements des Forces de sécurité intérieure (FSI), le général Wissam al-Hassan, un musulman sunnite proche de Saad Hariri, chef de l'opposition libanaise opposée au régime de Damas. Il était pressenti pour prendre la tête des FSI à la fin de l'année.

Les renseignements des FSI avaient joué un rôle majeur dans l'arrestation le 9 août de l'ex-ministre libanais Michel Samaha, un partisan du régime syrien, dans le cadre d'une affaire d'explosifs saisis qui devaient être notamment placés dans le nord du Liban.

La puissante explosion vendredi, la première du genre dans la région de Beyrouth depuis 2008, ravive l'inquiétude d'un débordement du conflit syrien, qui divise les Libanais.

La Syrie, secouée depuis 19 mois par des violences meurtrières et qui a été souvent pointée du doigt dans les assassinats des années 2000, a immédiatement réagi en condamnant un attentat "lâche" et "terroriste".

L'attaque s'est produite dans le quartier chrétien d'Achrafieh, dans le secteur est de la capitale.

"Nous avons entendu une puissante explosion. Nous avons senti le sol trembler sous nos pieds", a expliqué Roland, 19 ans, alors que des passants étaient pris de panique au milieu des carcasses de voitures calcinées et des débris d'immeubles.

Près de la place Sassine, des parents des employés de la Banque européenne du Moyen-Orient (BEMO), dont les vitres ont été soufflées, tentaient d'avoir des nouvelles de leurs enfants. Non loin, une jeune femme de 25 ans sous le choc s'écriait "maman, maman", en recherchant sa mère dans les décombres.

Pour beaucoup de rescapés, l'attentat ramène à l'esprit les années noires de la guerre civile (1975-1990).

"Ca me ramène 30 ans à l'arrière, à l'époque des attentats piégés", affirmait un médecin à l'hôpital Hôtel-Dieu.

Un leader de l'opposition, Samir Geagea, a affirmé à la presse que le général Hassan se "déplaçait avec des mesures de sécurité exceptionnelles".

"Il avait installé sa femme et ses enfants à Paris car il se savait visé", a-t-il ajouté.

Les renseignements des FSI ont joué un grand rôle dans la recherche des responsables des attentats et assassinats qui ont visé des personnalités politiques entre 2005 et 2008 et pour lesquels Damas été pointé du doigt, notamment celui en 2005 de l'ex-Premier ministre Rafic Hariri, père de Saad.

La classe politique, divisée entre partisans et adversaires du régime syrien, ont condamné à l'unanimité l'attentat, tout en évitant de formuler des accusations.

"Le régime syrien n'est pas étranger à ce genre d'explosions, c'est un attentat politique par excellence", a toutefois indiqué le député Nadim Gemayel, membre de l'opposition libanaise hostile à Damas.

Selon l'Agence nationale d'information (ANI), l'explosion s'est produite à une heure de pointe (12H00 GMT), à 200 mètres d'un bureau des Kataëb (Phalanges), parti chrétien de l'opposition libanaise.

Un photographe de l'AFP a vu deux immeubles dévastés. Un immeuble était en feu et les volontaires de la Croix-Rouge faisaient sortir des blessés, le visage ou le corps ensanglanté. Des passants sous le choc étaient en pleurs.

Des balcons étaient à moitié effondrés. Dans les rues, des carcasses de voitures calcinées étaient visibles et des vitres brisées jonchaient le sol.

Des pompiers et des membres de la défense civile entraient dans les immeubles à la recherche des victimes.

Le dernier attentat dans la région de Beyrouth remontait à janvier 2008, lorsqu'un officier des renseignements libanais, le capitaine Wissam Eid, avait été assassiné dans une attaque à la voiture piégée.

L'attentat survient alors que la guerre fait rage entre les rebelles et les troupes du régime de Bachar al-Assad en Syrie voisine, autrefois puissance de tutelle au Liban.

"Ces attentats terroristes sont injustifiables où qu'ils se passent", a réagi le ministre syrien de l'Information, interrogé par la télévision officielle.

Le secrétaire général de l'ONU Ban Ki-moon s'était déclaré "très inquiet de l'impact de la crise syrienne sur le Liban", dans un rapport au Conseil de sécurité rendu public jeudi, soulignant l'aggravation des tensions à la frontière et la poursuite d'un "trafic d'armes dans les deux sens".

ser-pbz-sk-ram/feb/cco

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  • Mideast

    Lebanese rescue workers and civilians carry an injured man, from the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. Lebanese Red Cross and security officials say a car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in the worst blast the city has seen in years, coming at a time when Lebanon has seen a rise in tension and eruptions of clashes stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese security forces and rescue workers gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese security forces and rescue workers gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese security forces and rescue workers gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    A Lebanese man evacuates a wounded woman from the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese Red Cross workers wheel a wounded woman at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese security forces and rescue workers gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Lebanese firefighters extinguish burning cars at the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. Lebanon's state-run news agency says a massive blast in east Beirut was caused by a car bomb and that there are casualties. An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw bloodied people being helped into ambulances and heavy damage to what appeared to be residential buildings. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • mideast

    A Lebanese rescue man, carries an injured boy at the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. A car bomb ripped through eastern Beirut on Friday, shearing the balconies of off residential buildings and sending bloodied victims pouring out into the streets in the most serious blast this city has seen in years. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • Mideast

    Lebanese civilians carry injured people at the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. A car bomb ripped through eastern Beirut on Friday, shearing the balconies off residential buildings and sending bloodied victims pouring out into the streets in the most serious blast this city has seen in years.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • LEBANON-UNREST

    Lebanese firefighters douse a fire at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful car bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 on Friday in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/CHADY SOUAID (Photo credit should read CHADY SOUAID/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese security forces and forensic experts inspect the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese security forces inspect the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    A Lebanese Red Cross worker treats a wounded woman near the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Mideast

    Lebanese soldiers inspect damaged buildings at the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. Lebanese Red Cross and security officials say a car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in the worst blast the city has seen in years, coming at a time when Lebanon has seen a rise in tension and eruptions of clashes stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

  • Mideast

    Lebanese soldiers inspect damage at the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. Lebanese Red Cross and security officials say a car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in the worst blast the city has seen in years, coming at a time when Lebanon has seen a rise in tension and eruptions of clashes stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

  • Mideast

    Lebanese soldiers inspect damaged buildings at the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. Lebanese Red Cross and security officials say a car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in the worst blast the city has seen in years, coming at a time when Lebanon has seen a rise in tension and eruptions of clashes stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

  • Injured Lebanese leave the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. Lebanese Red Cross and security officials say a car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in the worst blast the city has seen in years, coming at a time when Lebanon has seen a rise in tension and eruptions of clashes stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • A Lebanese firefighter extinguishes flames at the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. Lebanon's state news agency says a car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least six people and wounded scores in the worst blast the city has seen in years coming at a time when Lebanon has seen a rise in tension and eruptions of clashes stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • Lebanese firefighters extinguish burning cars at the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. Lebanon's state news agency says a car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least six people and wounded scores in the worst blast the city has seen in years, coming at a time when Lebanon has seen a rise in tension and eruptions of clashes stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • A Lebanese rescue worker, right, helps injured people to leave the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. Lebanese Red Cross and security officials say a car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in the worst blast the city has seen in years, coming at a time when Lebanon has seen a rise in tension and eruptions of clashes stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • A injured woman is carried by a civilian at the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. Lebanese Red Cross and security officials say a car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in the worst blast the city has seen in years, coming at a time when Lebanon has seen a rise in tension and eruptions of clashes stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • A injured woman is carried by civilians away from the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. Lebanese Red Cross and security officials say a car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in the worst blast the city has seen in years, coming at a time when Lebanon has seen a rise in tension and eruptions of clashes stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese security forces and rescue workers inspect the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese security forces gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    A Lebanese forensic expert examines an area near the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese forensic experts examine the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese forensic experts and security forces inspect the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    A picture shows a heavily damaged building at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese security forces inspect the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Lebanese firefighters extinguish burning cars at the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. Lebanon's state-run news agency says a massive blast in east Beirut was caused by a car bomb and that there are casualties. An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw bloodied people being helped into ambulances and heavy damage to what appeared to be residential buildings. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • A Lebanese civilian carries an injured woman at the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. A car bomb ripped through eastern Beirut on Friday, shearing the balconies off residential buildings and sending bloodied victims pouring out into the streets in the most serious blast this city has seen in years.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • A Lebanese rescue worker, center, helps an injured man at the scene of an explosion in the mostly Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh, Beirut, Lebanon, Friday Oct. 19, 2012. A car bomb ripped through eastern Beirut on Friday, shearing the balconies off residential buildings and sending bloodied victims pouring out into the streets in the most serious blast this city has seen in years. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

  • LEBANON-UNREST

    Lebanese firefighters douse a fire at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful car bomb blast left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese men evacuate a wounded woman at the scene of a car bomb explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A car bomb attack left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese firefighters douse burning vehicles at the site of a car bomb explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A car bomb attack left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut on Friday, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST

    Lebanese security forces gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful car bomb blast left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese firefighters douse burning vehicles at the site of a car bomb explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A car bomb attack left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut on Friday, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST

    Lebanese security forces and rescue workers gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful car bomb blast left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST

    Lebanese firefighters inspect a heavily damaged building after extinguishing a fire following an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful car bomb blast left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST

    Lebanese men carry a wounded civilian at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful car bomb blast left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST

    Lebanese security forces and a firefighter gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful car bomb blast left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST

    Lebanese firefighters and rescue workers gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful car bomb blast left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    A wounded Lebanese woman is evacuated from the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese security forces and people gather to inspect the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese security forces and rescue workers gather at the site of an explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A powerful bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese firefighters douse burning vehicles at the site of a car bomb explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A car bomb attack left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut on Friday, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese firefighters douse burning vehicles at the site of a car bomb explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A car bomb attack left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut on Friday, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese firefighters extinguish a fire at the scene of a car bomb explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A car bomb attack left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    A Lebanese policeman helps a wounded woman following a car bomb explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A car bomb attack left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

  • LEBANON-UNREST-EXPLOSION

    Lebanese firefighters douse burning vehicles at the site of a car bomb explosion in Beirut's Christian neighbourhood of Ashrafieh on October 19, 2012. A car bomb attack left dead and wounded in mainly Christian east Beirut on Friday, in the first such attack in the Lebanese capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)