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Lebanon Sets 5 August for Election to Fill Parliament Vacancies

The Lebanese government has set 5 August for special elections to fill the vacant seats of two assassinated anti-Syrian members of parliament.

The government Saturday announced the election to fill the seat of Walid Eido, who was killed by a car bomb in Beirut Wednesday. There also will be an election on the same day to fill the seat of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel, who was killed in November.

Lebanon's pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud opposes the elections. He has vowed to block them, saying the cabinet action setting the elections is illegal.

However, Lebanon's governing coalition says it will go ahead with the elections despite Mr. Lahoud's opposition.

Seven anti-Syrian figures in Lebanon, including former prime minister Rafik Hariri, have been killed in similar bombings or other attacks since 2005.

Syria has denied involvement in the killings.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.