Tue, Sep 27, 2005 - Page 6 News List

Lebanon reels from attack

AP , BEIRUT, LEBANON

Lebanese policemen officer inspect the damaged car of May Chidiac, a Lebanese political talk show host, after a bomb placed under her car exploded Sunday.

PHOTO: EPA

Prime Minister Fuad Saniora chaired a meeting of Lebanon's security chiefs and students mobilized for protests yesterday after a bomb seriously wounded a prominent journalist.

"The enemy will try a second time and a third time," Saniora said late yesterday, hours after a bomb exploded under the car of political talk show host May Chidiac, causing her to lose her left arm and leg.

More such attacks are feared as the blast was the latest in a series of mysterious explosions that have occurred in Lebanon since former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 20 others were killed in a massive bombing on Feb. 14.

Chidiac, an attractive woman in her 40s, was in a hospital intensive care unit Monday, her LBC TV station reported. The Hotel Dieu de France Hospital said late yesterday that Chidiac had lost her left arm and leg, was suffering from various injuries and burns, but her vital organs were "stable."

Students called for sit-in protests at universities and in downtown Beirut later yesterday as all political parties denounced the bombing in the town of Jounieh, north of Beirut.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan added his condemnation, urging the government "to bring to justice the perpetrators and instigators of [Sunday's] and other attacks."

"Such callous acts now form a pattern of onslaught not only against Lebanese citizens, but also against the principles of a democratic, open society, which, most importantly, includes the freedom of the press," Annan said in a statement released by the UN Information Office in Beirut.

Saniora called a meeting yesterday of senior security officials, including the interior and defense ministers as well as chiefs of police and security services, to discuss measures to prevent more bombings, reported the state-run National News Agency.

Saniora appealed to Lebanese to be patient.

"We are paying the tax for freedom and independence," Saniora said Sunday, adding that he had asked the US ambassador for technical assistance.

Saniora said the bomb, like other recent explosions, was related to the Hariri investigation.

"There is no doubt it is all related, we don't want to deny that," he said.

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