The Straits Times
Published on Oct 20, 2012

Senior Lebanese security official killed in Beirut blast: Official


BEIRUT (REUTERS) - A huge car bomb explosion in Beirut on Friday killed a top Lebanese security official whose investigations implicated Syria and Hezbollah in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri seven years ago.

The rush-hour bomb in the centre of the Lebanese capital killed eight people and wounded about 80 others, heightening fears that Syria's war is spilling over into Lebanon.

Among the dead was Mr Wissam al-Hassan, the head of a Lebanese intelligence agency who had also uncovered a recent bomb plot that led to the arrest of a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician, a Lebanese official said.

Mr Al-Hassan was a close aide to Mr Hariri, a Sunni Muslim who was killed in a 2005 bomb attack in downtown Beirut. Mr Al-Hassan's investigation into Mr Hariri's death uncovered evidence that implicated Syria and Hezbollah in the killing.