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VIDEO: Huge bomb blast rocks central Beirut, Kills a Security Chief

A prominent Lebanese security official is among the dead in a car bombing in the capital Beirut that has killed at least eight people and wounded up to 80 others.

Wissam al-Hassan, head of the Information Branch of the Internal Security Forces (ISF), was the brain behind uncovering a recent bomb plot that led to the arrest of Michel Samaha, a Lebanese politician close to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been accused of trying to help smuggle explosives into Lebanon.

The ISF was also deeply involved in seeking the arrest of those responsible for a host of attacks and assassinations between 2005 and 2008, starting with the murder of Rafiq Hariri.

Friday’s rush-hour car bombing has raised fears of renewed sectarian violence in a country still scarred from a long civil war. Al-Hassan was seen as close to Saad Hariri, leader of the March 14 alliance and a son of the former prime minister.

“The exact details of how this explosion killed Wissam al-Hassan are still unclear,” Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut, said.

“Wissam al-Hassan is a very prominent figure in Lebanon. He played a key role in pursuing the killers of Rafiq al-Hariri, and one of his most recent achievements is the capturing and arrest of Michel Samaha.

“He is a very controversial figure for the March 8 alliance. He was a key figure in supporting the armed opposition in Syria, and the March 14 alliance is going to take this explosion much more seriously.

“This killing will stir a lot of tensions.”

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About Chief Editor

Abdirizak Yonis is a senior chief editor at Bartamaha Media (a SMO "Somali Multimedia Organisation" Company), where he oversees the Bartamaha News outlet. Abdirizak was previously the National news editor of Bartamaha dot com. He has written for the site since the late 2012
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