A large explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut has killed at least five people, including the former finance minister Mohamed Chatah.

The blast occurred in the business district of the city, sending a large plume of black smoke into the sky. The remains of his car can be seen here, totally destroyed.

Mr Chatah served in office under former Prime Minister Saas Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, and was part of the anti-Syria coalition. Sources at the scene say he was being driven to a meeting at Hariri's mansion when the explosion occurred.

The civil war in Syria has stoked sectarian tension in Lebanon, which has suffered a wave of bombings over the past year. The Shia movement Hezbollah has sent fighters to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a shia Muslim who is battling to maintain control of the country against Sunni rebels.

Written and presented by Alfred Joyner