In Lebanon, thousands of mourners have turned out in Beirut for the funeral of a senior intelligence official, assassinated in a bomb attack blamed on neighbouring Syria.
Wissam al-Hassan’s death sparked fury among his fellow Sunni Muslims, and Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad was immediately accused of the attack. Syria has condemned the killing. Al-Hassan had recently uncovered an alleged Syrian plot against Lebanon.
His wife and sons had flown to Beirut from their home in France, to see the coffin set off from his own Internal Security Force headquarters, bound for the funeral in Beirut’s Martyr’s Square.
The Lebanese president, Michel Suleimane, was among the mourners. He had received the resignation of the government, in which Syria’s ally Hezbollah has a considerable role, but refused to accept it immediately.
Thousands of people gathered at the mosque. The prominent government opponent, Saad Hariri, had appealed for everyone in the country to turn out for the man, he said, who had protected all of Lebanon against what he called Syrian plots.
Big crowds mourn Lebanese intelligence chief