A powerful car bomb has killed at least seven people in the Lebanese capital Beirut, including a prominent anti-Syrian MP. The bomb exploded in the Christian east of the city. Army sources said at least 20 other people were wounded. The attack was immediately condemned by the United Nations and a spokesman for US President Bush.
The murdered MP, Antoine Ghanem, was an outspoken critic of Syrian interference in Lebanon. He was a member of the same Christian Phalange party as Pierre Gemayel, Lebanon’s Industry Minister who was assassinated in November last year. The blast occurred in the Sin al-Fil area of Beirut, near the home of former President Amin Gemayel, Pierre Gemayel’s father.
Lebanon’s former Prime Minister, Rafik al-Hariri, was murdered in February 2005, along with 22 other people, in a massive car bomb blamed on pro-Syrian forces. The latest blast comes just days before the Lebanese parliament meets, in an atmosphere of rising tension and fear, to elect a new president.