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Lebanese Publisher And Lawmaker Killed In Blast

12 December 2005 -- Police and rescue workers in Beirut say a car bomb that exploded this morning killed outspoken newspaper magnate and parliamentarian Gibran Tueni.

The blast hit Tueni's motorcade as it was driving through the Christian suburb of Mekalis in east Beirut. The force of the explosion flipped Tueni's armored car into the air sending it tumbling down a steep ravine. Police say three other people were killed and 10 injured.

Tueni was the publisher of Lebanon's "An-Nahar" newspaper. He was a vocal critic of Syria and despite being a parliamentarian, spent most of his time abroad, citing fears for his life.

Other anti-Syrian legislators today accused Damascus of being behind Tueni's assassination. Syria issued an official statement through the state news agency condemning the blast.

(compiled from agency reports)