Beirut Tightens Security Ahead of Intelligence Chief’s Funeral

Posted October 21st, 2012 at 5:10 am (UTC-5)
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Lebanese security forces have set up tight security in central Beirut ahead of a public funeral for a top intelligence official was assassinated in a massive car bombing.

Lebanon's former Prime Minister Saad Hariri has urged citizens to come out Sunday for the funeral of Wissam al-Hassan, the police intelligence chief who was killed along with seven others in a massive car bombing Friday.

Tensions have been high in Lebanon following the assault.

Mr. Hariri and opposition leader Walid Jumblatt have both accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of being behind the blast. Prime Minister Najib Mikati's government is supported by the pro-Syrian Hezbollah group.

After an emergency Cabinet session on Saturday, the prime minister said he had offered to resign in the wake of the deadly bombing, but President Michel Suleiman had asked him to stay.

Hassan had led an investigation into a recent bomb plot that has resulted in the arrest of a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician. He also led a probe that implicated Syria and Hezbollah in the killing of former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

No one has claimed responsibility for the Friday bombing in Beirut but Lebanese media reports said Hassan was the target for the attack.

Lebanon has seen a recent increase in violence related to the bloody Syrian civil war that has spilled over the border.