A United Nations report into last month's assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri accuses Syria of creating conditions for his death, without directly blaming Damascus for the killing.

The strongly worded report released Thursday, concludes that Syria bore responsibility for a lack of security in Lebanon.

It also cites testimony from several people close to Mr. Hariri who said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad threatened him with physical harm if he continued to move away from Damascus.

The U.N. report calls for a new international investigation into the killing, saying the Lebanese investigation was seriously flawed.

Syria's U.N. ambassador Fayssal Mekdad rejected the report, calling it one-sided. But Lebanon's president Emile Lahoud said he has asked the United Nations to do what is necessary to learn who was behind Mr. Hariri's killing.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has backed the team's findings, and the Security Council is expected to introduce a resolution calling for an international inquiry.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.