(AFP) – Jul 5, 2012
BEIRUT — A Lebanese MP and core member of the country's anti-Syrian opposition escaped an assassination bid on Thursday morning, a high-ranking security official told AFP.
"Our evidence shows that the operation was serious," the official said, describing the failed bid to murder MP Boutros Harb as "part of a series of assassination attempts" targeting politicians in Lebanon.
Harb earlier said that Lebanese security forces had warned him they had found "bomb detonators in a lift" in the building housing his office in Beirut, after three suspects tried to dismantle the lift door. The suspects later fled.
The attempt on Harb's life follows a bid in April to murder Christian leader Samir Geagea, an outspoken critic of Syria, the security official said.
The US State Department condemned the bid and urged a swift investigation.
"We condemn in the strongest terms the apparent assassination attempt targeting a Lebanese politician. We call on the government of Lebanon to investigate," said spokesman Patrick Ventrell.
A string of high-level assassinations struck Lebanon between 2004 and 2008, targeting political, media and security figures who vocally opposed the Syrian government, including former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri who was killed in a powerful car bomb blast in February 2005.
Born in 1944, Harb has been a member of Lebanon's parliament since 1972.
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