Lebanon’s recent history has been chequered by a series of assassinations and attempted murders. The victims appear to share a common trait: they were all critical of Syria. The most prominent killing dates back to February last year when former Prime Minister Rafik al Hariri and 22 others were killed by a massive truck bomb in Beirut.
Four months later there was another bomb blast. This time it was journalist Samir Kassir who lost his life. The reporter wrote outspoken articles against the former pro-Syrian Lebanese regime. In the same month the ex-Communist party leader was killed in the Lebanese capital by an explosive device in his car. A veteran politician, George Hawi had recently become critical of Syria before his murder.
Elias al-Murr, who was the caretaker defence minister, cheated death on July 12 2005. But another person was killed when the car bomb went off in northern Beirut. Television journalist May Chidiac lost her left leg and arm when an explosive was placed under her car in September. She was the first woman to be targeted in the series of attacks against anti-Syrian figures On December 12 2005 it was another journalist, Gebran Tueni, who was also a staunchly anti-Syrian member of parliament who was killed.