updated 3/5/2004 6:07:52 AM ET 2004-03-05T11:07:52

A bomb exploded as south Lebanon's police chief was driving across a bridge in the eastern region early Friday, blowing off one foot and mangling another, security officials said.

It was unclear whether the bomb was planted in the military jeep of Brig. Jean Akl, the head of the Internal Security Forces in south Lebanon, or on the road in the eastern city of Zahle.

The 8:30 a.m. blast blew off Akl's right foot and seriously damaged his left foot, security officials in Beirut and Zahle said on condition of anonymity.

The officials said Akl was in a stable condition in Zahle hospital.

Zahle, which is 28 miles east of Beirut, is the provincial capital of the Bekaa Valley.

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