Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Lebanon cancels Independence day celebrations

In the wake of yesterday's assassination of Pierre Gemayel and attempted assassination of Michel Pharaon, today became a day of sorrow as opposed to the joyous occassion it should have been.

Lebanon canceled Independence Day celebrations and people huddled around televisions to watch the live broadcast Wednesday of dignitaries paying last respects to a Christian politician whose assassination threatened to push the country's political crisis into wider violence.

[...] Pierre Gemayel, the minister of industry, was killed Tuesday when two cars blocked his vehicle at an intersection in the suburbs of Beirut and an assassin shot him numerous times through a side window.

His killing - the fifth murder of an anti-Syrian figure in Lebanon in two years - immediately drew condemnation from all quarters.

Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and Pierre's father and former president Amin Gemayel received calls from national leaders around the world including of course George Bush and Pope Benedict.

Thousands of mourners filled the streets to mourn with the Gemayel family...

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