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Car bomb kills politician, 5 others in Lebanon

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Posted: Dec 27, 2013 9:44 AM

Updated: Dec 27, 2013 9:44 AM

BEIRUT (AP) A prominent pro-Western politician and at least five others have been killed by a powerful car bomb in the center of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

More than 70 others were hurt in the blast, which set cars on fire, shredded trees and shattered windows in a neighborhood of five-star hotels, luxury high-rises and boutiques.

The attack is certain to raise sectarian tensions that have already been heightened by the civil war in neighboring Syria.

Security officials say the bomb targeted the car of Mohammed Chatah. He's a former finance minister, and a senior aide to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri (sahd hah-REER'-ee). According to the National News Agency, Chatah died along with his driver and four others.

Hariri is a Sunni politician who heads the main Western-backed coalition in Lebanon. It's engaged in bitter feuding with the militant Shiite group Hezbollah, a top ally of Syria's Bashar Assad.

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110-r-09-(Sound of emergency vehicle sirens, near the site of the blast)--Sound of emergency vehicle sirens as emergency personnel worked to douse fires and provide aid to victims at the site of the blast. (27 Dec 2013)

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111-r-07-(Sound of machinery and men shouting, near the site of the blast)--Sound of emergency personnel shouting and moving through the rubble of the explosion as they carried a stretcher holding someone who died in the blast. (27 Dec 2013)

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APPHOTO XBH115: A Lebanese man carries an injured woman at the scene of an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. A strong explosion has shaken the Lebanese capital, sending black smoke billowing from the center of Beirut. The blast went off a few hundred meters (yards) from the government headquarters and parliament building. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) (27 Dec 2013)

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APPHOTO XHM118: Workers clean shattered glass from broken windows at a damaged business center at the scene of an explosion, in central Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. A powerful car bomb tore through a business district in the center of the Lebanese capital Friday, killing a prominent pro-Western politician and at least five other people in an assassination certain to hike sectarian tensions already soaring because of the civil war in neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla) (27 Dec 2013)

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Topics: Lebanon UPDATE

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