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Syrians Kill Investigator, 4 Others In Beirut

From the AFP:

Blazing cars are seen at the site of a bomb attack in Beirut.

Intelligence officer among four killed by Beirut bomb

by Jocelyne Zablit

BEIRUT (AFP) – A senior intelligence officer investigating killings largely blamed on Syria was slain with three other people in a car bombing in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Friday, officials said.

Captain Wissam Eid, 31, a member of the Internal Security Forces (ISF), was among the dead along with his bodyguard, a security official told AFP. He said 36 other people were wounded, with nine taken to hospital.

Two of the wounded were in critical condition.

“Eid was a key member of the ISF and was involved in many investigations concerning bombings in Lebanon, including a February 2007 bombing in a Christian area,” the official said. “He was involved in sensitive probes and this is a major loss for us.”

Many of the bombings over the past three years have been blamed by Lebanon’s Western-backed parliamentary majority on neighbouring Syria, a charge denied by Damascus…

Friday’s explosion took place shortly after 10 am (0800 GMT) in an area of office buildings along a busy highway leading out of Beirut.

Flames engulfed cars, trapping several people as firefighters battled to extinguish the fires and security forces cordoned off the area.

Officials had earlier put the death toll at 10.

An AFP photographer at the scene saw two bodies, one of which had been blown onto a nearby bridge by the force of the blast. The other corpse was charred, trapped inside a car, one of four totally destroyed in the attack.

The security official estimated that the bomb, which blasted a five metre (16 foot) wide crater into the road, consisted of at least 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of TNT.

A senior official from the anti-Syrian majority in Lebanon pointed the finger at Damascus.

“This bombing is proof that the (Syrian) mukhabarat (intelligence) have infiltrated Lebanese security services,’ the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

“There is no other specialist than Eid in the region who was as competent when it came to investigating the series of bombings that have shaken Lebanon in recent years,” he added.

Syria, however, condemned the killing and blamed “Lebanon’s enemies”…

Lebanon has also been the scene of numerous bomb attacks in the past three years, targeting mainly anti-Syrian personalities and drawing accusations of Syrian involvement. Damascus has vehemently denied any role…

Surely this was just another unfortunate accident. Certainly the Syrians would never do anything untoward in Lebanon.

They are famously straightforward and above board. All anyone has to do is just sit down and talk to them.

Just ask Nancy Pelosi.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 25th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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