BEIRUT -- A powerful bomb exploded in a Christian neighborhood of eastern Beirut late yesterday, killing at least one person and wounding seven in the latest in a series of blasts in the capital, officials said.
The bomb detonated just before midnight between two parked cars, Major General Ashraf Rifi, commander of the Internal Security Forces, told The Associated Press. He added that a timing device was used but gave no further details.
Rifi said one person was killed and seven were wounded and rushed to nearby hospitals.
The blast occurred days ahead of an expected visit by a UN investigator to Damascus to interview top Syrian officials over the deadliest of Lebanon's recent bomb attacks -- the Feb. 14 assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri.
Many Lebanese have expressed worries that bombings could increase as the investigation pushes forward. The UN team has already accused four senior Lebanese security officials who carried out Syrian policy in the country.
The Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. correspondent at the scene said the explosion went off near a coffee shop, killing the owner and wounding several people.
Footage from the scene showed two vehicles ablaze, and balconies up to six stories high on a nearby building heavily damaged.