Lebanese security forces surround the bullet-riddled car of assasinated Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel in the Beirut northern suburb of Jdeideh, in the latest in a spate of attacks to target anti-Syrian politicians.
Pierre Gemayel, an anti-Syrian politician and scion of Lebanon’s most prominent Christian family, was gunned down Tuesday in an assassination that heightened tensions amid a showdown between opponents and allies of Syria that threatens to topple the U.S.-backed government.
Gemayel, 34, was the fifth anti-Syrian figure to be killed in the past two years and the first member of the government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to be slain. A car rammed his vehicle from behind and then a gunman stepped out and shot him at point-blank range, his Phalange Party radio station and Lebanon’s official news agency reported.
Footage from the scene showed Gemayel’s car, the driver’s-side window dotted by about a dozen bullet holes, and the second car behind it with a crumpled hood.
The assassination, in an afternoon shooting in Gemayel’s mainly Christian constituency of Jdeideh, threatens further instability in Lebanon at a time when Hezbollah and other parties allied with Syria are planning a massing wave of street protests unless Saniora reforms his government to give them more power.
Civil War brewing?
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