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Beirut Bomb Explosion Kills Pro-West Politician Chatah

At least six dead and over 70 wounded as Syria conflict penetrates Lebanon's borders

by
Common Dreams staff

A powerful bomb explosion in central Beirut on Friday killed former Lebanese minister Mohamad Chatah, a prominent pro-Western politician and outspoken opponent of Hezbollah and the Syrian Bashar al-Assad regime.

At least five additional people were killed and over 70 wounded in an attack likely to deepen tensions in a country already on edge as the ongoing conflict in neighboring Syria spreads.

No group has claimed responsibility for the explosion, which created a scene of mayhem in an upscale downtown area.

Chatah, 62, was a former finance minister and a senior aide to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri who also served a stint as ambassador to the United States. At the time of his death he was a member of the pro-West March 14 political coalition, which is backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and strongly opposes Hezbollah and supports forces opposing Syrian President Assad.

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