Large blast rocks Beirut ahead of Hariri verdict

Large blast rocks Beirut ahead of Hariri verdict
Blast in BeirutImage copyright AFP
Image caption The blast sent up a plume of smoke

A large blast has hit the Lebanese capital, Beirut, ahead of the verdict in a trial for the killing of ex-PM Rafik Hariri in 2005.

Reports say the explosion was in the port area of the city, with unconfirmed reports of a second blast.

Video showed a large mushroom cloud and extensive damage.

A UN tribunal is due to issue its verdict in the trial in absentia of four suspects in the murder by car bomb of Rafik Hariri.

All four are members of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, which has consistently denied any role in Hariri's death.

The possible second explosion was reported to be at the Hariri residence in the city.

There is no word yet on casualties.

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Source :
www.bbc.co.uk