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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
MP killing angers Mid-East press
Aftermath of the Beirut car bombing
Syria denied any involvement with the attack

The press in the Middle East is unified in its condemnation of the bomb attack that killed anti-Syrian Lebanese MP Antoine Ghanim.

Some Lebanese newspapers throw accusations of responsibility at the Syrian regime for the killing of the Maronite Phalange party MP, who died with at least six others in a mainly Christian suburb of Beirut.

There is also concern among Lebanese journalists about the upcoming presidential vote, due in less than a week, as parliament continues to be deadlocked between pro- and anti-Syrian factions.

LEBANON'S AL-AKHBAR

The assassination will first confuse Speaker Nabih Berri who was preparing for the first presidential elections sessions for next Tuesday after achieving wide support for his initiative... Secondly, the assassination will bring both parts of the feud back to the pre-Berri initiative political barricades... Thirdly, the assassination will make the 14 March forces feel as if they are permanently threatened... Fourthly, the assassination will point the finger of accusation at Syria.

LEBANON'S AL-NAHAR

The United Nations Security Council must consider itself involved... It should therefore convene without an invitation from the Lebanese government.

LEBANON'S AL-SAFIR

Such mafia terror undermines the meaning of politics and mocks the parliamentary consensus democracy... It is not an absurd coincidence that the Phalangist party's share is two MPs... What happened is horrible and worse may come.

LEBANON'S AL-ANWAR

They hunt the MPs one after the other. They assassinated MP Antoine Ghanim ahead of the elections session... People thought the killers had had enough but it is hard for the killers to feel so.

SYRIA'S AL-THAWRAH

We do not need much effort to read the names of MP Antoine Ghanim's assassins clearly... They are the ones who do not want [Parliament Speaker] Berri's initiative to succeed and who are afraid of it... Those who assassinated the Lebanese MP are the creators of chaos in the region.

JORDAN'S AL-DUSTUR

It is certain that the person responsible for this series of assassinations is not Lebanese... It is obvious that the assassination is aimed at eliminating Nabih Berri's initiative... The person who killed Ghanim and many leaders before him is the one who is mixing cards not only in Lebanon but in the entire region.

JORDAN'S AL-RAY

Those who committed yesterday's crime chose the timing deliberately in order to impede the parliament's session, thus keeping the crisis unsolved.

QATAR'S AL-WATAN

The crime of assassinating MP Antoine Ghanim yesterday should not lead to postponing or impeding the agenda of political commitments in Lebanon, mainly the commitment to choose a president for the Republic, scheduled to be held next Tuesday... thus depriving the criminals of winning any political gains from their crime, which was aimed at leading Lebanon into the labyrinth of chaos.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



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