Assassination in Lebanon

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photoBillionaire powerhouse and former prime minister of Lebanon, Rafiq Hariri, was assassinated in Beirut yesterday in a blast that shook the city for miles around. He had resigned as prime minister just four months ago in protest over Syria's long occupation of Lebanon.

Sixteen thousand Syrian soldiers and intelligence agents have a heavy footprint in Lebanese life and politics. Syria is suspect over Hariri's assassination but so is Al Qaeda.

Outside Lebanon, world leaders responded to the assassination with dismay. French President Jacques Chirac said the former prime minister embodied Lebanon's will for independence and democracy. The U.S. State Department expressed "profound outrage." White House spokesman Scott McClellan pointed to Syria's troop presence in Lebanon as a "destabilizing force."

Hear about the aftershock of the high-profile assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.


Kim Ghattos, BBC reporter in Beirut, Lebanon

Richard Murphy, former ambassador to Syria and Saudi Arabia, former Assistant Secretary of State for New East and South Asian Affairs under President Reagan

Fawaz Gerges, professor of International Relations at Sarah Lawrence College, author of "America and Political Islam: Clash of Cultures or Clash of Interest"

Tyler Marshall, foreign affairs correspondent The Los Angeles Times

This program aired on February 15, 2005.


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