Pattaya Daily News

22 November 2006 :: 17:11:44 pm 32097

Lebanon slaying deepens Christian political rift

22nd November - The slaying of a Lebanese Christian minister has cornered leading Christian politician Michel Aoun, his alliance with the Syria-backed opposition enraging many who blame Damascus for the killing.
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            Presidential hopeful Aoun, leader of the largest Christian bloc in parliament, was one of the first targets of anger after the killing of Pierre Gemayel on Tuesday. Aoun posters were burned in Christian areas and his offices were targeted. 

            “We let them hang Aoun’s picture here. We thought, OK, he’s a Christian like us. But yesterday was enough. This doesn’t happen to Pierre Gemayel,” said Annie Yacoubian, 26, in Christian east Beirut. “They took them down and burned them.” 

            Aoun was one of the loudest voices against Syrian involvement in Lebanon during more than a decade of exile in France, where he fled after losing a battle with Syrian forces at the end of the 1975-1990 civil war. 

            The withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon last year let the former general return home, where he received a hero’s welcome from tens of thousands of supporters. 

            But he made a political about-turn this year by striking an alliance with Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran. That put him at odds with the anti-Syrian majority including Lebanon’s main other Christian parties.

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Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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