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Anti-Syrian Coalition in Lebanon Calls on Lahoud to Quit


Lebanon's newly-elected anti-Syrian majority coalition is calling on pro-Damascus President Emile Lahoud to resign, saying it holds him responsible for a series of recent political assassinations.

In a statement Thursday, the coalition accused the president of protecting a political security system blamed for the assassinations of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and two other Damascus critics.

The coalition also called for a general strike Friday to protest the Beirut car bombing that killed prominent Syrian critic George Hawi on Tuesday. Additionally, it urged Lebanese to turn out en masse Friday for his funeral.

Noted anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir was killed in a similar bombing early this month.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. State Department official speaking in London says the United States is certain that Syrian intelligence agents remain in Lebanon, despite Syrian assertions it pulled all of its forces from the country in April.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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