The driver of the vehicle suffered minor injuries but the only passenger -- a Lebanese security official for the embassy -- was unhurt, a U.S. State Department spokesman told CNN. The spokesman said an investigation would determine whether the embassy vehicle was the intended target of the blast, which occurred on the coastal highway in the predominately Christian Dora-Karantina neighborhood north of the Lebanese capital.
There were widely varying reports on injured. A Western diplomatic source told CNN a U.S. citizen, an Iraqi and three Lebanese were wounded. The Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. said 20 people were hurt.
Lebanese television showed footage of the destroyed car and burning vehicles on the street.
Lebanon has been rocked by violence as pro- and anti-Syrian lawmakers fight over naming a new president following the expiration of the term of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud in late November.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]