Former Lebanese minister killed in car bombing

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December 27, 2013, 5:56 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Martin Fletcher) - A former Lebanese minister was among the several people killed Friday by a car bombing that occurred in an upscale part of Beirut. The bombing is another sign that the Syrian civil war is stoking tensions with the country's neighbors.

Lebanese security officials say the target of the bomb was the country's former Finance Minister, Mohamad Chatah, who was killed in the blast.

He was a prominent pro-Western politician and senior advisor to the former Prime Minister, Saad Hariri.

The car bomb ripped through an area of five-star hotels and luxury apartments, killing Chatah and five others. Chatah was on his way to a meeting of politicians when the blast tore through the street, destroying his car.

He was a critic of Hezbollah, the militant Shiite group that supports Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.

Lebanese citizens are afraid that the war in Syria is spilling into their country.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for today's deadly blast. The attack was condemned by Hezbollah, who called it a horrible crime.

But former Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, accused them of the bombing.

Tags: beirut, Lebanon, car bombing, Syria, Hezbollah, Martin Fletcher, bashar al-assad, Mohamad Chatah, Saad Hariri
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