Thousands in Beirut Mourn Dead Intelligence Chief

World News

0  Updated at 3:30 am, October 22nd, 2012 By: ABC Digital
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AFP/Getty Images(BEIRUT) — There is growing concern that last Friday’s assassination of Lebanon’s security chief Wissam al-Hassan will lead to Syria’s conflict spreading throughout the Middle East.

Al-Hassan and two others died in a car bomb blast near Beirut’s police headquarters, an attack that was blamed on Damascus.

On Sunday, thousands poured into Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square for al-Hassan’s funeral.  Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati also attended the ceremony.

At one point, protesters tried to storm the Lebanese government headquarters to demand that Suleiman resign.  They were turned back by soldiers firing machine guns and rifles.

Al-Hassan was buried alongside former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was also killed by a car bomb in Beirut in 2005.  At the time, al-Hassan, who led the probe into Hariri’s killing, accused Syria of plotting the assassination.

More recently, al-Hassan alleged that a Lebanese minister was in cahoots with Syria to start a bombing campaign in Lebanon.  There is speculation that al-Hassan’s death was in retaliation for this probe.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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