Monday, October 04, 2004

Lebanon, France

2 news items I was interested in, from Friday. So, not very up-to-the-minute and no particular thematic link.

'Ex-minister hurt in Beirut blast' 'A bomb has gone off in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, injuring a former minister and killing his driver. The explosion took place on a side street of Beirut's seafront, just outside the home of MP Marwan Hamadeh.
The BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut says it looks like Mr Hamadeh, a Druze and a member of the opposition, was the target. ... President Emile Lahoud said the attack targeted Lebanon's security and stability. Lebanese officials and top western diplomats went to the hospital, where Mr Hamadeh has been receiving treatment for wounds to his face and legs. The visitors included Syria's Vice-President Abdel Halim Khaddam, who rushed over from Damascus when he heard the news

Druze leader Walid Jumblatt appealed for calm, but said the car bomb was a clear message for the opposition. Mr Jumblatt has been leading a fierce campaign against Syria's influence in Lebanon and Mr Hamadeh is a member of Mr Jumblatt's parliamentary bloc. Until last month, he was also a cabinet minister, but along with three colleagues, he resigned from his post to protest against a controversial vote in parliament to keep the president in power for another three years. The extension of the mandate of Emile Lahoud, a protege of Damascus, was seen as a direct result of Syrian pressure...'

'Muslim girl shaves head over ban'  A 15-year-old French Muslim girl has beaten the ban on Islamic headscarves in schools by shaving her head. ... At school on Friday she said: "I will respect both French law and Muslim law by taking off what I have on my head and not showing my hair."


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