A large car bomb explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, killed six people, including a prominent Sunni politician who has been an outspoken critic of Hezbollah and Syria's Bashar al-Assad. At least 70 others were injured in the blast, and The New York Times is reporting that local footage shows multiple fatalities and many more wounded.
Among the dead is Lebanese Finance Minister Mohammed Chatah, who was most likely targeted for assassination. Chatah was an economist and close advisor to Rafik Hariri, the former Prime Minister who was also assassinated in 2005, a crime for the Syrian government has repeatedly been blamed. Five members of Hezbollah are to be on trial for the murder next month.
Hezbollah just admitted it is an enemy of Lebanon RT "@Naharnet Hizbullah: The assassination of Shatah only benefits the enemies of Lebanon"— Daniel Nisman (@DannyNis) December 27, 2013
The latest attack appears to be yet another example of the sectarian conflict in Syria spilling over its borders. Chatah, also the former Lebanese ambassador to the United States, was reportedly on his way to a meeting with Hariri's son, Saad, another former Prime Minister who is currently one of the leading opposition politicians in Lebanon. Saad Hariri said in a statement on Friday that whoever murdered Chatah "are the same ones" who assassinated his father eight years ago. He added, "The murderers seek to assassinate the whole of Lebanon and weaken the state."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.