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Lebanese Leaders Urge Calm Following Gemayel Assassination


Lebanese leaders are urging calm while the country observes three days of mourning following Tuesday's assassination of an anti-Syrian cabinet member.

Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel was shot as he drove through a Beirut suburb in an attack anti-Syrian Lebanese leaders blame on Syria.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora says the country will not be intimidated. Gemayel's father Amin, a former Lebanese president, urged restraint as protesters took to the streets in parts of Beirut.

The international community condemned the assassination. The United States called the killing an act of intimidation against Lebanon's elected government.

Gemayel is the latest anti-Syrian politician to be assassinated in Lebanon in the past two years. Syria has denied any role in any of the killings.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council approved plans Tuesday for a special international tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. A U.N. inquiry has implicated Syrian officials in that killing.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised Pierre Gemayel as someone who believed strongly in an independent, democratic and united Lebanon.

The European Union called on all parties to avoid actions that would destabilize Lebanon.

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

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