Beirut bombing kills adviser to former PM Hariri
More than 50 people were wounded from Friday morning's bomb explosion in central Beirut (Anwar Amro/AFP)
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An explosion has shaken the Lebanese capital Beirut Friday morning, killing an adviser to former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri.
The blast, which was caused by a car bomb, killed at least five people and wounded 50 others, the Lebanese state news agency reported.
Former Lebanese minister and Future bloc member Mohammad Shattah was killed in the attack.
Shattah, a Sunni Muslim, was on his way to attend a meeting when the explosion occurred.
An hour before he was killed, Shattah tweeted messages slamming the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah.
"Hezbollah is pressing hard to be granted similar powers in security & foreign policy matters that Syria exercised in Lebanon for 15 years," he said, in reference to Syria's nearly 30-year military and political hegemony in Lebanon that ended after Rafiq Hariri's murder in 2005.
In reference to the Shiite militant group, Hezbollah, Saad al-Hariri said those are who sought to escape international justice in the killing of his father Rafiq al-Hariri are behind the assassination of Shatah.
Lebanon’s Supreme Defense Council will meet on Friday to discuss the Beirut bombing.
Lebanese political analyst Analyst Asaad Bechara told Al Arabiya that Hezbollah has handover the suspects in the killing of Hariri, adding that Shaht’s assassination could be linked to the upcoming Jan, 14 trial by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam said the Shaht’s assassination is a sign that Lebanon is the target of a “conspiracy.” He did not elaborate on the details.
Television footage showed black smoke billowing from central Beirut.
The blast went off a few hundred meters from the government headquarters and parliament building.
Troops were seen deploying nearby and ambulances were rushing to the area.
Beirut has been hit by several deadly attacks over the past months, including twin suicide bombings in November that targeted the Iranian embassy and bombings in the bastion of Hezbollah in the south of the capital over the summer.