Beirut, Lebanon (CNN) -- Editor's note: A car bomb has exploded in the heart of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, Lebanese state news agency NNA reports. Here's the latest news as we learn it.
[Updated at 9:20a.m.] The Lebanese NNA now says eight people were killed and 78 injured in the explosion.
[Updated at 9:11 a.m.] More than 30 people were hurt in the explosion and are being treated in the ER of the Hotel Dieu hospital, a senior hospital official told CNN's Nada Husseini.
Some are seriously injured, others were slightly hurt, the official said in a phone call, adding no dead victims had been brought in.
[Updated at 8:55 a.m.] At least five people were injured, three of them seriously, NNA says.
The blast hit the Ashrafiyeh district in East Beirut, a predominantly Christian area.
The force of the explosion shook windows in CNN's offices, about 10 minutes away from the scene.
[Updated at 8:48 a.m.] At least one car was engulfed in flames and blackened wreckage litters the street.
The apparent attack did not target any political figure and the security forces asked citizens to stay away from the area, Lebanon's state news agency NNA says.
[Updated at 8:43 a.m.] Video from the scene is showing people carrying victims to ambulances, and rows of mangled cars and charred buildings.
Military and emergency personnel are there amid shocked crowds.
[Updated at 8:32 a.m.] It was a car bomb that caused the blast, according to Lebanese state news agency NNA.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh says there is "chaos" in central Beirut. He says several people appear wounded from the large blast.
[Posted at 8:11 a.m.] A large explosion is being reported in central Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh says black smoke can be seen rising from the site of the blast.
There's no indication yet on what caused the explosion. We'll bring you more details as we get them.