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Lebanon Police Arrest Former Security Chiefs

Lebanese police have arrested three high-ranking former pro-Syrian security officials for questioning as suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq al Hariri. The commander of the Presidential Guards, Brigadier General Mustafa Hamdan, was ordered to appear before a U.N. commission investigating the assassination.

Lebanon's new Prime Minister Fuad Siniora looked both solemn and determined as he announced the arrests of the three former security chiefs by Lebanese police. Mr. Siniora said the four are suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al Hariri. He said they were arrested at the request of the U.N. commission investigating Mr. Hariri's killing.

Among those taken into custody were the former head of the country's General Security Jamil al-Sayed, the ex-chief of military intelligence Raymond Azar, and former police chief Ali Hajj.

The prime minister said Lebanon has complete confidence the U.N. commission will uncover the facts about the crime, and its perpetrators.

U.N. chief investigator, Detlev Mehlis, who asked for the arrests of the four suspects for questioning, met with top Lebanese leaders to explain the findings of his commission. Mr. Mehlis has just returned to Lebanon after reporting to the U.N. Security Council that Syria is not cooperating with his investigation.

Syrian President Bashar al Assad, in an interview Monday, pledged Syria would fully comply with the commissions requests.

Many Lebanese openly blame Syria for the February 14th bombing in Beirut in which Mr. Hariri and 20 other people died. Damascus denies any involvement.

Meanwhile, Lebanese media in Beirut and abroad are widely reporting that key anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians, including Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, and the son of the slain former prime minister, Sa'ad, have fled to Paris, after being warned by the U.N. commission that they were possible targets for assassination.