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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bomb Kills Anti-Syrian Politician

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- A car bomb killed Lebanese newspaper magnate and anti-Syrian lawmaker Gebran Tueni in Beirut on Monday, a day after he returned from Paris, where he had based himself in recent months in fear of assassination.

Several Lebanese politicians immediately pointed the finger at Syria, but Damascus quickly denied involvement and said the killing was timed to smear it.

Police said Tueni, 48, publisher of the An-Nahar daily, was among four people killed in the explosion that destroyed his armored sport utility vehicle as it was driving in the Mekalis area of mainly Christian east Beirut.

Tueni was killed just hours before the UN Security Council was due to receive a report by chief UN investigator Detlev Mehlis, who has been trying to identify those behind the Feb. 14 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. An interim report by Mehlis in October said the evidence pointed toward the involvement of Syrian officials and their Lebanese allies in Hariri's killing. Syria denies this.

Lebanese Druze leader and politician Walid Jumblatt told Arab satellite television channels that Tueni's killing was linked to the Mehlis report, and suggested Syria was behind it.