According to media reports, a missile exploded not far from the politician's convoy of 30 cars on his way back from the Beqaa Valley to Beirut after meeting with prominent Sunni religious figure Sheikh Khalil Al-Mays.
Hariri's press office called media reports somewhat accurate, noting that "ex-Prime Minister Hariri was informed by security services about the explosion in the area on the same day, but since his convoy was not directly exposed to any attack ... the decision was to keep it secret and await the results of the relevant security forces".
Saad Hariri served as Lebanon's Prime Minister in 2009-2011 and 2016-2019. He was forced to resign in late October amid the protests which started after the government said it would introduce a tax on internet calls made via the WhatsApp messenger. On 21 January, Lebanon announced the formation of a new cabinet under Prime Minister Diab and President Michel Aoun.
The situation in Lebanon remains tense amid a new wave of protests in Beirut and across the country following the collapse of the national currency, which has fallen by 80 percent over the past few days.