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The Daily Star
MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
07:43 AM Beirut time
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Damascus denies involvement in Beirut blast
Agence France Presse
A handout picture on May 5, 2013, shows Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi giving a press conference in Damascus. AFP PHOTO / SANA
A handout picture on May 5, 2013, shows Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi giving a press conference in Damascus. AFP PHOTO / SANA
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DAMASCUS: Damascus rejected accusations by Lebanon's March 14 coalition that it was behind the Beirut car bomb blast that on Friday killed six people, including former minister Mohammad Chatah.

"These wrong and arbitrary accusations are made in a context of political hatred," said Syria's Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi, in remarks published by state news agency SANA.

"Some figures in Lebanon have never stopped accusing (Damascus) every time a painful assassination takes place in the brother country Lebanon," Zohbi added, in reference to the March 14 coalition that is opposed to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

March 14 had earlier implied Syria's regime and its Lebanese Shiite ally Hezbollah were behind a deadly car bomb attack that killed six people, including an influential coalition member Mohammad Chatah.

Chatah was also an adviser to former prime minister Saad Hariri.

"The criminal is the same, he who is thirsty for the blood of Syrians is the same one spilling Lebanese blood... from Beirut to Tripoli... in all of Lebanon, the criminal is the same, he and his Lebanese allies, as in Daraa, Aleppo, Damascus and all of Syria," said ex-prime minister Fouad Siniora, reading a March 14 coalition statement.

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