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Lebanon Mourns Former PM Rafik Hariri

An estimated 200,000 mourners jammed central Beirut Wednesday to pay last respects to Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Mr. Hariri died when a suicide bomber set off an explosion in his motorcade Monday. At least 14 others were also killed and a hundred more people wounded.

Many Lebanese blame the bombing on the former prime minister's political opponents, including the country's ruling party, which has close ties with Syria. Lebanese and Syrian officials have denied any link, but Tuesday the United States recalled its Ambassador to Syria.

While U.S. officials say they are not directly blaming Syria for the killing, they are saying the bombing calls into question the heavy presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon. The American government is demanding that Syria abide by U.N. resolutions and allow the Lebanese to run their own affairs.

"We continue to be concerned about the foreign occupation in Lebanon, said Scott McClellan, White House spokesman. "We have expressed those concerns. Syria has had a military presence there for some time now. That is a concern of ours."

Mr. Hariri was a self-made billionaire, having made his fortune in construction principally in Saudi Arabia. While he was prime minister, he led the rebuilding of Lebanon after years of civil war. His fortune, estimated at $4 billion, allowed him to maintain his independence without defying Syria, which has about 15,000 troops in Lebanon and strong influence over many of Lebanon's key political decisions.

After having been prime minister for 10 years, Mr. Hariri resigned his post last year after a power struggle with pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud.