A car bomb ravaged a seafront shopping district in the Christian port city of Jounieh at lunchtime today, killing 10 persons and maiming more than 100.
The blast rocked the scenic Mediterranean town 10 miles north of Beirut, setting more than 100 cars ablaze and badly damaging three buildings in a crowded street only yards away from two schools.
It was the fifth car bomb attack against Christian areas this year and brought the death toll from such attacks to 60 since January.
Elsewhere in Lebanon, feuding Moslem fighters of the mostly Druze Progressive Socialist Party killed at least 12 members of a family and set 15 homes on fire in the mixed Druze-Sunni Moslem village of Bsaba in the Chouf hills southeast of here in what was described as a personal vendetta.
In southern Lebanon, a car driven by a suicide bomber exploded at a checkpoint near Hasbayya, at the edge of the Israeli-declared security zone, killing the driver and injuring three members of a pro-Israeli Lebanese militia and three civilians. The pro-Syrian Lebanese Baath Party later asserted responsibility, The Associated Press reported.
No group has asserted responsibility for today's bombing in Jounieh, or the previous attacks against Christians, but Christian sources accused Syria, amid a climate of rising anti-Syrian sentiment in Lebanon's Christian regions.
Lebanon's state-run television station, operating out of the Christian heartland, called today's explosion the latest "move of Syria's policy in Lebanon."
Christian resistance to a Syrian-mediated accord four months ago between Lebanon's warring militias has been a source of unrest in areas falling under control of the Christian Lebanese Forces militia.
Jounieh, a resort that had become a favorite spot for Christians wishing to escape the horrors of Lebanon's civil war, became a scene of flames and dazed victims.
Rescue workers clawed through twisted and charred cars to drag out survivors as firefighters hosed down smoking vehicles and battled a blaze that had reached the top floors of a high-rise building.
After today's fighting between Moslem rivals in Bsaba, Walid Jumblatt, who heads the Progressive Socialist Party, warned its members to adhere to discipline. "Beware," he said. "If the people closest to me -- Taymour and Aslan his sons -- should one day violate the unity of ranks, I will kill them with my own hands."
Druze fighters cordoned off the village at the foothills of the Chouf in the Iqlim Kharroub region and barred journalists.
A statement by Bsaba residents said the president of the Bsaba municipality and the village headman, or mukhtar, were among those killed in the nighttime assault. It said 10 persons from the town were still missing.
In Beirut, meanwhile, the British Embassy called Britons still working and living in Moslem-controlled west Beirut and asked them to leave unless they had compelling reasons to stay.
The advisory was a repeat of warnings made last year in reaction to a series of kidnapings. The disappearance of two English teachers walking home from a west Beirut bar on March 28 led the embassy to renew its warning.