Lebanese opposition blames Syria for assassination

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BEIRUT — Lebanon’s main opposition bloc blamed the Syrian regime today for the killing of a top intelligence officer and demanded the current government, dominated by Syrian ally Hezbollah, resign.

The anti-Syrian opposition alliance said there can be no national dialogue between rival groups before the government led by Shiite militant group Hezbollah and its steps down.

“The first step to face strife is the fall of this government,” said a statement by the March 14 coalition of anti-Syrian parties read by senior official Fares Soeid.

Soeid said the opposition will work to bring down the government through peaceful means.

A car bomb on Friday killed Syrian Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, the head of police intelligence and one of the most powerful opponents of Syrian meddling in Lebanese affairs. With tensions already high in Lebanon over the civil war next door, the assassination set off clashes between groups that support and oppose the Syrian regime.

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