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Lebanon Assassination

Lebanon on fire Photo: AP
Lebanon on fire Photo: AP
 
 

UN council condemns murder of Lebanon minister

Security Council issues statement unequivocally condemning Tuesday's assassination of anti-Syrian Lebanese industry minister, approving UN-Lebanese deal that would create international court on Hariri murder

News agencies
Latest Update: 11.22.06, 07:07 / Israel News

The UN Security Council unequivocally condemned Tuesday's assassination of Lebanon's anti-Syrian industry minister and approved a UN-Lebanese agreement that would create a tribunal to prosecute the suspected killers of another Lebanese politician - former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

 

Lebanon Murder
Lebanese minister assassinated in attack on convoy / Roee Nahmias
Christian minister Pierre Gemayel, outspoken critic of Syria, shot by gunmen near Beirut, rushed to hospital and later dies of his wounds. Lebanon faces political tension that threatens to spill into street confrontations
Full Story
A statement read by the council president condemned "any attempt to destabilize Lebanon through political assassination or other terrorist acts" and expressed grave concern at the possible impact of the killing of Christian politician Pierre Gemayel on efforts" to solidify

democracy" in the country.

 

The council called Gemayel "a patriot who was a symbol of freedom and of the political independence of Lebanon."

 

Gemayel's assassination is expected to escalate an already tense political situation in Lebanon and came hours before a deadline for Security Council members to approve a letter authorizing Secretary-General Kofi Annan to conclude the agreement with the Lebanese government to establish the mixed tribunal.

 

The deadline for objections was 6 p.m. on Tuesday, but the US, French and Qatar ambassadors announced after closed consultations that the letter had been approved by all 15 council members almost two hours early.


Protest in Lebanon following assassination (Photo: Reuters)

 

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who is anti-Syrian, is under pressure from the Hizbullah movement, which has increased its following after the summer war against Israel.

 

The government is trying to extend its authority into the south, dominated by Hizbullah, which is backed by Syria and Iran.

 

Many Lebanese blame Syria for the killing of Hariri in a suicide truck bombing in February 2005. Damascus denies involvement, although a UN commission investigating the assassination has implicated senior Lebanese and Syrian security officials.

 

Meanwhile, the London-based Arabic language newspaper reported that Minister Gemayel was shot by three gunmen with an automatic weapon. According to the report, the three came out of the car, opened fire at the minister's car and disappeared.

 

It was also reported that Gemayel feared the upcoming months in Lebanon and asked his wife last week to take their children outside of Lebanon.

 

Roee Nahmias contributed to the report

 

First Published: 11.22.06, 00:27

 

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