A powerful car bomb killed at least eight people and wounded another 78 on Friday in mainly Christian east Beirut, in the first such attack in Lebanon's capital since 2008, the National News Agency reported.
The agency, citing civil defence figures, said the blast was only 200 metres (yards) from the headquarters of the Christian party, the Phalange, which is hostile to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in neighbouring Syria.
The bombing comes at a time of high tensions and divisions in Lebanon as a result of the conflict in Syria.
An AFP photographer saw two apartment buildings devastated by the bombing in a narrow street off Sassine Square in Ashrafieh. One building was still ablaze as Red Cross workers evacuated bloodied casualties.