6 Car bombing kills anti-Syrian legislator

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Gen. Rifi, an appointee of the Hariri bloc, declined to accuse anyone. “It’s too early to decide who did it,” he said.

Damascus had occupied Lebanon since the end of the country’s civil war in 1990, and it had dominated Lebanese politics until the Hariri assassination.

Mr. Eido’s death was the first political assassination since the Nov. 21 killing of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel, an anti-Syrian Cabinet minister.

With Mr. Eido’s death, the anti-Syrian March 14 coalition has a four-member majority in parliament, a whisker-thin edge in the body that will elect Lebanon’s next president after Emile Lahoud, the current, Syrian-installed leader, steps down in September.

Mr. Lahoud and the pro-Western prime minister, Fuad Siniora, are at loggerheads, creating a political stalemate that has paralyzed Lebanon for the past six months, strangled the economy and prompted the United Nations to set up a tribunal to try suspects in the Hariri assassination.

Mr. Eido’s killing put an already twitchy population further on edge and comes while the Lebanese army is still engaged in a standoff with Islamic militants in the north at the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp.

More than 60 soldiers have been killed in the three-week battle. Also, eight Israeli jets entered Lebanese airspace yesterday in a sign of increased tensions between the two countries.

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