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Lebanese President Disputes Syrian Involvement in Assassinations

Emile Lahoud (File photo)
Lebanon's pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud is disputing claims that Syria is behind recent assassinations in his country, and says investigators should focus on Islamic fundamentalists or Israel.

Speaking Sunday on the Cable News Network, Mr. Lahoud said former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and two other notable anti-Syrian figures had to have been killed by enemies of Lebanon.

He identified those foes as religious fundamentalists and what he called "our permanent enemies to the south."

Mr. Lahoud said Syria had the most to lose from the killing of Mr. Hariri, whose death in February led to the forced withdrawal of all Syrian troops from Lebanon.

Mr. Lahoud's comments came just three days after Lebanon's new anti-Syrian majority coalition called on the president to resign. The coalition said it holds Mr. Lahoud responsible for all three assassinations.

Some information for this story provided by Reuters.