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Lebanese Defense Minister Wounded In Blast

12 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A car-bomb blast in a suburb of Beirut early today wounded Lebanon's caretaker Defense Minister Elias Al-Murr.

Police say a car packed with explosives and parked at the roadside detonated as Al-Murr's motorcade passed by. Reports say the explosion killed at least two people and wounded more than 12 others. Al-Murr is a son-in-law of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud. Both leaders are regarded as pro-Syrian.

Al-Murr was taken to Serhal Hosptial with superficial burns and an injured hand.

Syria today denounced the incident as a terrorist act.

The car bombing is the latest in a series of assassinations and attempted assassinations in Lebanon since the 14 February slaying of former prime minister Rafik al- Hariri. The attack on Al-Murr came as prime-minister-designate Fouad Siniora is seeking to form Lebanon's first government since Syrian troops withdrew from Lebanon.