x

Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Lebanon blast: Hamas official wounded in car bomb attack

A bomb placed in a BMW in the southern city of Sidon detonated, wounding Mohammed Hamdan

Lebanese soldiers inspect a damaged car in the southern city of Sidon on January 14, 2018. Ali Hachicho / Reuters
Lebanese soldiers inspect a damaged car in the southern city of Sidon on January 14, 2018. Ali Hachicho / Reuters

A member of the Palestinian Hamas group was wounded in a car bomb blast in the city of Sidon in southern Lebanon on Sunday, said the Lebanese army.

“At about 12pm, a bomb exploded in a silver BMW in the Al Bustan Al Kabeer area in Sidon, injuring the owner of the vehicle, Mohammed Hamdan,” the military said in a statement.

“The army has deployed in the area and cordoned the scene, where a military expert was present to determine the size and nature of the explosive device.”

Lebanon’s National News Agency said Mr Hamdan, also known as Abu Hamza, sustained a leg injury and “miraculously survived”. He was transported to hospital.

“Hamdan was getting into the car when it immediately exploded and went up in flames,” said the NNA, adding that preliminary investigations showed there was "around 500 grams of explosive substance under the driver's seat".

The blast took place in the parking lot of the apartment building where Mr Hamdan resided, reported the Agence France-Presse.

Hamas did not immediately issue a statement on the explosion.

Lebanon is home to tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees, most of whom live in one of the 12 refugee camps in the country.

Ain Al Hilweh is the most densely-populated refugee camp, where more than 60,000 Palestinians live, and lies near the city of Sidon - about 40 kilometres south of the capital Beirut.

An official of the Palestinian Fatah group in Lebanon said Mr Hamdan was involved in operations in Israel, reported Reuters.

"The incident has Israeli fingerprints," said Mounir Al Maqdah, the Fatah official.

According to a report by Al Manar television, which is run by Lebanese group Hizbollah, Mr Hamdan was an important figure in the Hamas movement and was being tracked by Israel.