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Car Bomb Kills Anti-Syrian Lawmaker Near Beirut

12 December 2005

A staunch anti-Syrian Lebanese lawmaker and noted journalist has been killed in a bomb blast in Beirut.

Police say the bomb, apparently planted in a parked car, exploded near Christian lawmaker Gibran Tueni's armored motorcade. The blast hurled the victim's vehicle into a ravine, killing him, his driver and at least two people nearby. Thirty others were reported wounded.

Mr. Tueni, the director of An-Nahar newspaper, was killed one day after returning to Beirut from France where he had been staying for fear of assassination.

Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, another staunch opponent of Syrian influence in Lebanon, immediately blamed Damascus for the killing. A previously unknown group claimed responsibility, but its statement has not been authenticated.

Mr. Tueni was killed just hours before the U.N. Security Council was due to receive a report on the February 14 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

An earlier interim report by U.N. investigator Detlev Mehlis said evidence in the Hariri case pointed toward Syrian security officials and their Lebanese allies. Syria has denied involvement.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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