A strong explosion shook the Lebanese capital Beirut early Friday, leaving a thick cloud of black smoke rising over a hotel district near the government headquarters and causing an unknown number of casualties.
The Lebanese National News Agency says the explosion was caused by a car bomb that was targeting the convoy of former finance minister Mohamad Chatah, who is a senior advisor to ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
Local media reported Chatah was killed in the attack, though there was no immediate confirmation. Video and social media showed terrified people running from the scene. Some appeared to be wounded, though there was no immediate word on casualties.
No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing.