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Tens of Thousands Join Beirut Funeral for Slain Anti-Syrian Publisher


14 December 2005

Tens of thousands of flag-waving Lebanese mourners packed central Beirut Thursday for the funeral of outspoken Syrian critic Gebran Tueni. The 48-year-old publisher and parliamentarian was killed Monday in a Beirut car bombing.

Banks, businesses and schools closed today, as a huge contingent of Lebanese police and soldiers deployed in Beirut's Martyrs Square to ensure security for the funeral.

Mr. Tueni is the third anti-Syrian figure to be killed since the February 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Mass protests triggered by the Hariri murder forced Syria to end its three-decade military presence in Lebanon.

In similar scenes today, crowds denounced Damascus and demanded that Lebanon's pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud step down.

Syria has denied involvement in any of the killings.

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



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