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Beirut car bomb kills one and wounds - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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BEIRUT (Reuters) -A car bomb exploded in a mainly Christian residential neighborhood of Beirut late on Friday, killing one person and wounding at least 23, Red Cross and security sources said.

The bomb exploded near a branch of Lebanon”s Byblos Bank in the area of Achrafieh and was heard throughout the capital. A senior security source said it consisted of 10 kg (22 lb) of TNT.

&#34What we lived this night was like hell,&#34 Eva Nashleklian told Reuters as she wiped blood off her arm.

The blast shattered windows and set two cars ablaze. Ambulances ferried the wounded to nearby hospitals. One was in a serious condition, a Red Cross source said.

Lebanese security forces sealed off streets leading to the blast site and investigators began collecting evidence.

&#34We were asleep and woke up horrified by the blast,&#34 said 40-year old Hanna Botrous.

&#34We saw smoke billowing and were scared in the beginning, but we were expecting something like this to happen,&#34 he said.

A series of bombs have exploded, mostly in Christian-dominated commercial areas of Beirut, since the February assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, which many Lebanese blame on Syria. Damascus denies any role.

Hariri”s death sparked mass anti-Syrian protests in Beirut that forced Damascus to bow to world pressure and end its 29-year military presence in Lebanon in April.

Four pro-Syrian generals, have been charged with murder in connection with the February bombing, which killed 20 other people as well as Hariri.

Syria agreed on Monday that Detlev Mehlis, who heads a U.N. team investigating Hariri”s murder, could question Syrian witnesses as part of his inquiry.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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