Anti-Syrian politician killed in Beirut blast

An explosion rocked Beirut's seafront Wednesday afternoon, killing a leading anti-Syrian politician and at least nine other people, security officials said.

An explosion rocked Beirut's seafrontWednesday afternoon, killing a leading anti-Syrianpolitician and at leastnineother people, security officials said.

The blast killed lawmaker Walid Eido,one of hissons andtwo other people accompanying them,as well as others, and injured at least 11 bystanders, according to the officials.

The Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. television station said the explosion came from a bomb-rigged car, a method that has been used to assassinate opponents of Syria over the past two years.

Eido, 65,becomes the seventh anti-Syrian politician to be killed in Lebanon in the past two years. He was ahigh-profile friend andally of Saad Hariri, the leader of the parliamentary majority and son of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinatedin February 2005in a Beirut car bombing.

The blast outside a popular seaside sporting club was heard right across Beirut, the CBC's Nahlah Ayed reported.

Unlike previous bombings in recent weeks since the Lebanese army began targeting militants in a Palestinian refugee camp in the north, the most recent blast rocked the city in the middle of a sunny afternoon aspeople walked home from work, she said.

"This is the first that has gone off during the day," Ayed said. "Essentially, people have been staying home at night."

A car was in flames and black smoke was seen rising from a narrow street off the main waterfront in Manara, which is in the Muslim sector of the capital.

A woman, covered in blood and screaming in agony, was seen being pulled away from the scene by residents. A man also was carried away as police sealed off the area, which is near an amusement park and a military club.

The explosion shattered windows of apartments in the area, knocked down walls and scattered debris.

Rafik Hariri's death prompted massive anti-Syria demonstrations in Lebanon known as the "Cedar Revolution," which prompted the complete withdrawal of Syrian troops from the country.

A United Nations special tribunalwas approved last week to probe Syria's alleged role in theassassination andto try future suspects.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora asked the Security Council to create the tribunal earlier this year, a request that has pitted his government against Syrian-supported Hezbollah opposition.

With files from the Associated Press