31 Killed by Car-Bomb Blast in North Lebanon
A car bomb exploded Wednesday outside a four-story building in the northern port city of Tripoli, and initial police reports said 31 people were killed and more than 50 wounded.
Police said a car rigged with 275 pounds of TNT detonated at 9:20 p.m., in Lebanon’s second-largest city, leveled a building housing a candy store. The store was crowded with scores of customers celebrating the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, police said.
“Only a few basement pillars of the bombed building still are standing. The rest of the building is a pile of rubble,” said one Tripoli resident contacted by telephone from Beirut.
The powerful bomb smashed windows and damaged buildings up to 50 yards from the blast site. Ambulances raced from the scene carrying victims to the six hospitals in the city. Radio stations broadcast appeals for blood donations.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.
In Beirut, meanwhile, rescue workers evacuated more than 150 wounded refugees from the battered Chatilla and Borj el Brajne camps, where Palestinian refugees had battled Shia Muslim militias.
Despite some harassment of Red Cross workers at Borj el Brajne, the evacuation was seen as the first concrete result of Monday’s cease-fire plan arranged by Syria.