Car bomb kills anti-Syrian member of parliament and Lebanese newspaper magnate

A car bomb explosion killed Gebran Tueni, a staunchly anti-Syrian member of parliament and Lebanese newspaper magnate, in Beirut on Monday, police said.Three other people died and 10 were wounded in the blast that blew up Tueni's armoured sports utility vehicle as it was driving in the Mekalis area of mainly Christian east Beirut.

At least three people inside the car were killed, their bodies charred beyond recognition, witnesses said.The blast set several cars ablaze and damaged nearby shops and buildings. Police and soldiers cordoned off the area as rescue workers ferried casualties to hospitals.

Tueni, 48, a fierce critic of Syria's policies in Lebanon who was elected to parliament this year, said in August he believed he was on a hit-list for assassination.Lebanon has been rocked by more than a dozen bombings and assassinations since the February 14 killing of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, which many Lebanese blamed on Syria.

Damascus denies any involvement in Hariri's killing or any of the other attacks in Lebanon.

The U.N. Security Council was due to receive a report later on Monday by chief U.N. investigator Detlev Mehlis on who was behind Hariri's assassination.Tueni had spent much of his time since August outside Lebanon, citing security fears. He was believed to have returned to Beirut late on Sunday.

"Lebanese officials received accurate information from the international investigation committee about an assassination list of several politicians," he told the Arabic-language Radio Orient in Paris in August. "My name is on top of this list."Tueni's uncle, Druze Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh, survived an attempt on his life in 2004, reports Reuters. I.L.

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