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Lebanon Car Bomb Kills MP, 9 Others


A car bomb in Beirut Wednesday killed a Lebanese member of parliament and nine other people. At least 10 more people are reported to be wounded. It is the sixth bombing near Lebanon's capital in the last month. It comes as the country is already reeling from clashes between the army and Muslim militants in the north. VOA Middle East Correspondent Challiss McDonough has more from Cairo.

The car bomb exploded on the busy beachfront road in the mostly Sunni Muslim district of Manara. It killed lawmaker Walid Eido, his son Khaled, two of their bodyguards and at least six other people.

In the aftermath of the blast, a car sat still burning in the road as emergency workers rushed to help the victims. The explosion shattered windows hundreds of meters away.

Five other bombs have exploded in and near Beirut in the last month, but this was considerably larger than the rest.

The slain lawmaker was chairman of the parliamentary defense committee and a member of the anti-Syrian March 14th Movement led by Saad Hariri, the son of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was killed by a car bomb in 2005.

Other members of the March 14 group were quick to blame the bombing on Syria, which has been implicated in a number of other assassinations, including Rafik Hariri's. Syrian leaders have denied any involvement in those killings.

In a brief televised statement, Saad Hariri did not name Syria directly, but it was clear that he believed Damascus was involved in the bombing.

He said: "These are the same fingers that targeted Rafik Hariri and the other martyrs of freedom. These are the evildoers who are planting the seeds of terror all over Lebanon. These are the same ones who have today perpetrated the assassination of Walid Eido."

An angry crowd of Hariri's Future Movement supporters gathered outside Eido's home in the upscale Verdun neighborhood, chanting anti-Syrian slogans.

The bombing drew immediate condemnation from the international community. U.S., European and Arab governments quickly denounced the attack and said they are standing by the Lebanese government.

The bombing came just three days after a new U.N. resolution came into effect establishing an international tribunal to try suspects in the Hariri killing. Syria and its allies in Lebanon opposed the court. Damascus has said it will not cooperate if Syrian citizens are indicted.

Lebanon has also been rocked by ongoing fighting in a Palestinian refugee camp in the north. The army has been battling against heavily armed militants from a Sunni Muslim extremist group known as Fatah al-Islam.

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