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LEBANESE PM SALEH ARIDI ASSASSINATED

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* Saleh  Aridi, a member of the pro-Syrian opposition Lebanese Democratic Party has been killed in a car bombing in Baissour few km South-East of the capital, Beirut, on Wednesday 09/10/2008 late night at about 23:30, security officials have said.

At least three other people were injured in the blast, the army said. The attack came a day after the president announced reconciliation talks among rival factions would be held next week.

Lebanese Democratic Party is a prominent Druze party led by Arslan family, a historical rival of the Jumblatt family in the Druze community of Lebanon. Naturally if Walid Jumblatt was a prominent figure in the anti-Syrian coalition in Lebanon the Arslan clan joined the pro-Syrian block.  

Both sides formed a national unity government last month, and the talks next week are aimed at narrowing their differences (see also – Doha Agreement ).

Saleh  Aridi, who was in his 50s’, was a top adviser to pro-Syrian Druze leader and government minister Talal Arslan .

The charge was placed under the car’s body, below the driver’s seat, and blew up as the car moved, police said. They believe it was triggered either by remote control or by a motion sensor.

There have been a series of assassinations of political figures in Lebanon since the killing of the former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005, but this is the first since January. Past targets have mostly been anti-Syrian lawmakers.

It seems that the assassination of Saleh  Aridi is, probably, related to internal rivalry in the Druze community in Lebanon.

 

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