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Thursday, 24 January, 2002, 08:42 GMT
Former Lebanese minister killed
Former Lebanese minister and pro-Israeli Christian militia leader Elie Hobeika has been killed in an explosion outside his house in Beirut.

First reports indicate that the blast was caused by a car bomb.

At least three of Mr Hobeika's bodyguards are also said to have died in the explosion, in the Hamziyeh district of the Lebanese capital.

Officials said several buildings had been badly damaged and a huge fire had broken out.

Mr Hobeika was heavily implicated in the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Chatilla camps in west Beirut in 1982.

The Christian militiamen struck after their leader, President-elect Bashir Gemayel, was assassinated in a bombing at Phalange headquarters.

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