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Lebanon: MP Antoine Ghanem Assassinated

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Lebanon, Breaking News, Elections, Politics, War & Conflict

Member of the Lebanese Parliament Antoine Ghanem was assassinated today by a bomb that targeted his car in Beirut’s suburb of Sin el-Fil, Hursh Tabet area. Mr. Ghanem, 64, was a member of the Phalange Party which is led by ex–president Amine Gemayel. At least six other people were killed and 20 wounded in the attack. This terrorist act comes less than a week before Lebanese MPs are scheduled to meet to elect a new president. This incident was echoed by Lebanese bloggers who reported it, posted photos, videos and analysis:

Liliane [1] heard and saw the explosion from her work:

At around 5:20pm, an explosion occurred in approximately of Horsh Tabet, near Rond Point Al Hayek, no news available yet. I heard and saw the explosion from my work, it seems it is in a residential area.

Cedarseed [2] also heard the explosion and updated the incident in several posts:

Something just went boom. Very loud.

Photos and videos were posted by Blacksmiths of Lebanon [3] and Ouwet Front [4]

Abu Kais [5] analyzes the background and motives behind the assassination and links it to the upcoming presidential elections:

Antoine Ghanem was reportedly a moderate well liked by MPs from both sides of the divide. With his murder, March 14 lost another vote, and may not feel safe anymore to stay in the country, let alone head to parliament on September 25th to elect a president. Many March 14 MPs are outside the country…

Bob [6] sees it as the loss of another brave man of independence:

The brave men and women of the independence movement, threatened by death and assassination on every corner or those who are in league with the assassins, peacefully hiding…

After stating each political group's analysis of the assassination and who each group blames for the murder, Eliedh [7] concludes:

One thing is certain analysis are all we are going to have. The killer will never be caught and apparently, more people are going to die while Lebanese fight over who is going to control the country (or what’s left of it).

Finally Beirut Spring [8] also mentions analyses and reasons that the opposing parties are giving for this assassination. He states that an opposition blog writes:

Go back to news archives and look at the events that took place before every single assassination. You will realise that in every case, the Lebanese drew nearer to a solution. A bomb goes off, spews hatred and sectarianism amongst the anti-Syrians, they start talking a lot of senseless bullshit and piss off the opposition. Then we’re back to square one. In this case, there is the Berri initiative. It was proposed by an opposition leader, and it came in the interest of the country. Syria had no problem with it and praised it and so did the rest of the opposition. This assassination took place today to break up this initiative, keep march 14 on it’s toes by accusing Syria again without even surely knowing who did it. Also, it serves as a popularity boost for March 14 by showing they are the poor victims of criminal activity by whoever they accuse.