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MENAFN - Arab News - 21/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Gunmen and demonstrators blocked roads with burning tires in Beirut and other cities to protest against the killing of police intelligence chief Wissam Al-Hassan in Friday's car bombing.

Lebanon's premier, under intense political flak over the bombing that killed eight people said he would stay on after the president said it would be in the national interest.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati spoke after an emergency Cabinet meeting discussed the bombing that has been blamed on Syrian President Bashar Assad. Mikati linked the murder to last month's discovery by security forces of attacks allegedly being planned by Michel Samaha, a pro-Damascus former minister, which were aimed at instigating sectarian strife in Lebanon.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom condemned the bombing, and warned of chaos if the culprits were not caught.

The Kingdom "condemns this criminal act," an official said in a statement carried by the SPA.

He said the assassination of police intelligence chief Wissam Al-Hassan is a "proof that the culprit of this vile terrorist act that targeted Lebanon's security and stability lacks all moral, Islamic and human values."

"Saudi Arabia stresses that it is important to find the culprits, because not dealing with this matter could lead to chaos, the killing of honorable men and jeopardize Lebanon's security," the statement said.

Al-Hassan will be buried today in Beirut alongside the grave of former Premier Rafik Hariri, a security official said.

Hariri's son Saad called for a massive turnout for the funeral.
Hassan's wife and children, meanwhile, flew back to Beirut from Paris where he had taken the family fearing for his life and their safety.
In a separate development, international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi met with Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem in Damascus yesterday, pressing for a brief cease-fire between Assad's forces and rebels seeking his overthrow.

Syria's Foreign Ministry said the talks were "constructive and serious" and that Brahimi and Moualem discussed "objective and realistic ways of halting the violence by either side, to prepare the ground for comprehensive dialogue between Syrians".


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