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Anti-Assad Lebanese Ex-Minister Killed In Beirut Blast

posted 27 Dec 2013, 05:19 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 27 Dec 2013, 05:20 ]

Lebanese television channels show file footage of former minister Mohamad Chatah, an opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, killed in a massive bomb blast in Beirut.

LEBANON (AL MANAR) -  Former Lebanese minister Mohammed Chatah, who opposed Syrian PresidentBashar al-Assad, and four other people were killed in a massive bomb blast that targeted his car in Beirut on Friday (December 27).

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Chatah, 62, a Sunni Muslim, was also a critic of Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah movement and an adviser to former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.

His killing occurred three weeks before the long-delayed opening of a trial of five Hezbollah suspects indicted for the Feb. 2005 bombing which killed former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri and 21 other people.

Hezbollah has denied involvement in the 2005 attack. Preliminary U.N. investigations implicated Syrian officials.

A tweet posted on Chatar's Twitter account less than an hour before the blast accused the Shi'ite movement of trying to take control of the country.

"Hezbollah is pressing hard to be granted similar powers in security and foreign policy matters that Syria exercised in Lebanon for 15 years," the tweet read.

Lebanese television channels showed footage of the bomb site and archive material ofMohammed Chatah.