Report: Six Syria critics on hit-list

Anti-Syrian Lebanese figures including Walid Jumblatt, the Druze leader, and Marwan Hamadeh, the minister for telecommunications, are among six men on what a Lebanese newspaper said was a new hit-list.

    Tueni's killing was the latest in a series of political assassinations

    Al-Balad newspaper, quoting government and parliamentary
    sources, on Thursday named the other alleged targets "on the hit-list of people to be killed" as Wael Abu Faoor, Samir
    Franjieh, Elias Atallah and Farid Makari, all deputies.

    The list was published a day after prominent anti-Syrian MP and press magnate Jebran Tueni was buried in a politically and emotionally charged funeral following his killing in a bomb blast, which many blamed on Damascus.

    The six people named on Thursday all belong to the anti-Syrian majority in parliament that swept the polls in June in the first election in Lebanon after Syria withdrew from the country, ending nearly 30 years of political and military domination.

    Regime change

    Tueni was killed on Monday in a massive car bombing a day after he returned from a France where he had spent some time for fear of an attempt for his life in the wake af a spate of attacks on critics of Syria.

    Mourners at Tueni's funeral
    blamed Syria for his death

    Mourners at Tueni's funeral blamed Syria for his death and several MPs used the occasion to call for a regime change in Damascus, accusing it of being responsible for a series of political assassinations in Lebanon.

    Syria has denied any responsibility in Tueni's murder or that of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, whose death in February triggered international condemnation.

    Hamadeh, who was wounded in a car bombing in October 2004 and is Tueni's uncle, told parliament on Wednesday that the "dictatorial regime (in Syria) must be stopped". Jumblatt has also called for "regime change" in Damascus.

    Mehlis comment

    Meanwhile, French-language daily L'Orient-Le Jour quoted the top UN investigator in al-Hariri's murder as saying that tension between the former Lebanese prime minister and Syria was "most probably" one of the motives behind his killing.

    Tueni was killed in a car bombing
    a day after he returned to Beirut

    "As we've said in our report, one of the motives for the assassination was most probably the tension between Syria and ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri," Detlev Mehlis was quoted as saying.

    "It was the key (point) of our report.

    We believe that this could very well be the motive of the assassination."

    In Cairo, Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, held talks with Saad Hariri, Lebanon's parliamentary majority leader, about the investigation into the death of his father.

    SOURCE: AFP


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