Blast Kills Anti Syrian MP in Beirut

BEIRUT (BBC)–A car bomb killed anti-Syrian Member of Parliament and journalist Gibran Tueni Monday in Beirut.

Tueni and three others were killed while driving through the Christian-dominated Mekallis area of eastern Beirut during the morning rush hour. At least 10 others were wounded.

Tueni–who was elected to parliament in June–was managing editor of the liberal An-Nahar newspaper and an outspoken critic of Syria’s occupation of Lebanon.

Tueni was killed only a day after returning from Paris–where he had been staying amid fears for his life.

A previously-unknown group calling itself "Strugglers for the Unity and Freedom of the Levant" has taken credit for the attack. The group’s claim had not been confirmed.

The attack came hours before UN Security Council members got the latest report on the death of former Lebanese PM–Rafik Hariri–in which Syria has been implicated.

Syria said Monday’s attack was timed to damage its reputation ahead of the UN meeting.

Damascus has denied any involvement in the attack.

The US embassy has issued a statement saying: "The forces of oppression and tyranny have taken from the Lebanese people one of their greatest champions for liberty and freedom and have killed a courageous advocate of Lebanese independence and sovereignty."

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