A car packed with explosives blew up today about 50 yards from offices of President Amin Gemayel's Falange Party in this Christian port's main square, and police said at least 10 people were killed and 110 wounded.
Officials reported 10 charred bodies were dragged from the rubble of two high-rise commercial centers housing banks, beauty parlors, clinics and stores. The wounded, some badly burned, were taken to hospitals in Juniyah and Christian East Beirut.
The square was packed with shoppers and employees leaving their offices for their lunch break when the bomb exploded at 1:05 p.m. Police estimated that the car that blew up contained 165 pounds of explosives.
Rescue teams clawed through the wreckage as cars and shops burned. Christian militiamen sealed off the square, firing U.S.-made M-16 rifles in the air to clear the way for ambulances in this city 13 miles north of Beirut in the Christian heartland.
Police said most of the casualties in Juniyah were employees of the Credit Libanais and Brazilian banks in the two buildings.
The Central High School and the Saint Famille school were damaged by the explosion, but there were no reports of injured students or teachers.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.
Meanwhile, in southern Lebanon, a suicide bomber blew up a car loaded with explosives near a checkpoint manned by the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army, the state radio and Israel radio reported. Israel radio said two people died--the bomber and a Lebanese civilian--and three militiamen and three civilians were wounded.
The radio reports said the bomber detonated the explosives near the roadblock at Kawkaba, about nine miles north of the Israeli border. Israel radio said the bomber blew up the car as militiamen approached to search it.