Car Bomb Wounds Hamas Official in Sidon
An official in the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas was wounded in a car bomb blast in the southern city of Sidon on Sunday, military and medical sources told French news agency AFP.
A military source said a BMW in the southern port city of Sidon "detonated, wounding Hamas official Mohammed Hamdan."
An AFP journalist in Sidon saw the burnt-out vehicle, a silver BMW, in a parking lot of an apartment building where Hamdan lived.
Firefighters arrived to put out the flames and Lebanese security forces quickly cordoned off the area.
The Red Cross confirmed that there was only one person wounded in the blast and said he had been transported to hospital in a civilian vehicle.
According to a medical source at the scene, Hamdan suffered serious wounds to his legs while opening the door to his car and was undergoing surgery.
The Lebanese National News Agency reported that the silver BMW belonged to Hamdan, who went by the nom de guerre Abu Hamzah.
Hamas in a statement blamed Israel for the "criminal" act that wounded Hamdan in his leg.
Hamdan did not appear to have a public or political role in Hamas, but a Palestinian security source told AFP that he was a member of the organization's security apparatus.
"Hamdan is an official in Hamas' security service. His work is linked to internal Palestinian affairs," the source said.
"Because of the nature of his work, the fingers are pointed to the Israeli enemy."
NNA said the bomb weighed 500 grams.
Sidon Mayor Mohammed Saudi said Hamdan was undergoing surgery at a local hospital.
In 2006, two members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group were killed in the same neighborhood in Sidon when a bomb planted in a vehicle detonated as they passed near it. Israel was blamed for the attack. Lebanon is officially at war with Israel. The last war in 2006 ended in a stalemate.
Last year, another Palestinian official survived when he came under fire as he entered a residence in Sidon.
Tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon, many of them in 12 camps across the country.
The most densely-populated of these camps is Ain el-Hilweh, which lies near Sidon and is home to some 61,000 Palestinians, including 6,000 who have fled the war in neighbouring Syria.