Friday, December 27, 2013

Car bomb in Beirut kills former minister critical of Syrian regime and three others

Civil Defense team at the scene of a car bomb in Downtown Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
(The Daily Star)

An explosion caused by a car bomb rocked the downtown area of Beirut Friday morning, killing former finance minister Mohamed Shattah along with at least three others. According to the Lebanese health minister Ali Hassan Khalil the number of wounded has surpassed 70 and is expected to rise.
A restaurant and a coffee shop were destroyed in the blast, and several cars were on fire, a witness said to AFP, adding that there was glass everywhere and the smell of explosives filled the air.
Much of Beirut went into lockdown following the explosion, with police blocking off roads across the city.

Shattah was an ally and adviser of Saad Hariri, the leader of the  Future Party, and a staunch critic of Hezbollah and the Syrian government. After his death Hariri wrote on Twitter: "Those who assassinated Mohammed Shattah are those who assassinated Rafik Hariri (Saad Hariri;'s father, TP), and they want to assassinate Lebanon, and sully the state's nose in humiliation, weakness, and emptiness."

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