One of Lebanon's senior security officials, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, was killed along with seven others this morning in a massive explosion in an affluent section of Beirut. According to the New York Times, the explosion—the origin of which is still unclear—overturned cars and shattered windows for blocks. To judge from the pictures, the death toll is likely to rise.

Al-Hassan was the head of the information services for Lebanon's Internal Security Force. According to Lebanese blogger Elias Muhanna, he was aligned against Syrian influence in Lebanon and had recently arrested a politician linked to the Syrian regime for plotting to launch a string of bomb attacks throughout Lebanon. So the natural suspect in the attack is Bashar al-Assad's forces. Which would mean the Syrian civil war has spilled over into both Turkey and Lebanon now.

[Image via AP]