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19 Sep 2007 18:04
A car bomb killed an anti-Syrian Lebanese lawmaker and at least six other people in Beirut on Wednesday, just six days before Parliament was due to elect a new president, security sources said.
The lawmaker, Antoine Ghanem of the Christian Phalange party, was killed by the blast in a Christian district of the Lebanese capital. At least 19 other people were wounded by the bomb in the busy commercial and residential area of Sin el-Fil.
Several cars were set ablaze and rescue workers carried bodies from the scene in eastern Beirut.
Ghanem (64) was a member of the anti-Syrian governing coalition that has been locked in a power struggle since November with factions backed by Damascus.
Parliament is due to convene on September 25 to elect a successor to pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud.
Pierre Gemayel, the industry member and lawmaker who was assassinated in November last year, was a member of the same party as Ghanem.
Eight anti-Syrian figures have been killed in Lebanon since 2005 in a series of assassinations that started with the February 14 2005 killing of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.
In June this year, anti-Syrian lawmaker Walid Eido and nine other people died in a car-bomb attack.
Hariri’s family says Syria was behind the killing of the former prime minister and later attacks, but Damascus denies this.—Reuters
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