BEIRUT, Lebanon – A booby-trapped car exploded near a hotel south of the capital, seriously injuring one woman, security officials said Friday.
A hand grenade placed between the door and the driver”s seat detonated when the woman opened the door of the car, which was parked near the Lebanon Beach Hotel in the suburb of Khaldeh, south of Beirut, one official said. She was taken to a hospital in serious condition.
Local television stations identified the woman as Abir Harb but her identity could not be independently confirmed.
Television footage from the site of the explosion showed the driver”s seat mangled and torn off, and the door and windshield riddled with shrapnel. A woman”s white handbag and what appeared to be a beach bag were seen inside the car.
It was the latest in a series of bombings in Lebanon in recent weeks.
On June 21, former Communist Party leader George Hawi was killed when a bomb exploded under his seat as he was being driven through west Beirut. On June 2, anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir was killed by a similar bomb planted under his car. The opposition blamed Syria and its allies in Lebanon for both explosions.
The explosion came as Lebanon”s prime minister-designate was consulting with lawmakers on forming a new Cabinet, the first government free of Syrian interference in almost three decades.
Syria withdrew its troops from Lebanon in April, ending a 29-year military presence. The withdrawal was precipitated by the Feb. 14 truck bomb assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, which triggered street protests in Lebanon that blamed Syria. The government in Damascus denied the charges.