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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 December 2005, 13:30 GMT
'Syrian held' over Beirut bombing
Gibran Tueni (file photo)
Gibran Tueni was a vocal critic of Syria's occupation of Lebanon
Lebanon has arrested a suspect in the killing of anti-Syrian newspaper owner Gibran Tueni, judicial sources said.

Syrian-born Abdul Qadir Abdul Qadir is being questioned about phone calls made immediately before and after the bombing that killed Tueni.

He reportedly rents a plot of land near the scene of the killing, which took place in east Beirut on 12 December.

Tueni was the third anti-Syrian figure to be killed since the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in February.

A United Nations investigation has implicated Syrian officials in Hariri's death - Damascus has denied involvement in that and the subsequent attacks.

Massive blast

Mr Abdul Qadir was arrested on a warrant issued by military magistrate Rashid Mezher, who had previously questioned him, the judicial sources said.

They added that the magistrate had asked for Mr Abdul Qadir, a scrap dealer, to be held at military justice headquarters in Beirut.

Aftermath of Mekallis bombing
The attack happened on a mountain road in East Beirut
This is the first reported arrest in the killing that shocked Lebanon.

Gibran Tueni was killed a massive car bomb attack as he was travelling through the Christian-dominated area of Beirut.

The blast was so powerful it blew his armour-plated car off the small mountain road and sent it rolling down the hill.

The body of Tueni and three others were recovered several hundred metres away from the blast site.

Tueni was managing editor of the leading liberal An-Nahar newspaper, and an outspoken critic of Syria's occupation of Lebanon.

The 48-year-old - who had recently remarried and was the father of twins - was elected to parliament in June.

Veteran Lebanese politician Walid Jumblatt accused Syria of targeting Tueni because "he was the voice of freedom".

Damascus has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack.

Last month, the Lebanese government asked the UN Security Council to investigate the killing and other recent political murders.

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