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Ex-minister killed in Beirut blast

A former Lebanese minister has reportedly been killed, along with at least four others, in a targeted explosion in the downtown business district of the Lebanese capital Beirut.

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Ex-minister killed in Beirut bomb blast opposed Assad

A former Lebanese minister killed in a bomb blast in Beirut opposed Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and was a prominent critic of Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah movement.

A tweet posted on his Twitter account less than an hour before the blast accused the Shi'ite movement of trying to take control of the country.

A Lebanon-based al Qaeda-linked group, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack and threatened further attacks unless Iran withdraws forces from Syria, where they have backed Assad's war against rebels.

Chatah was on his way to attend a meeting when the explosion tore through his car.

A Reuters witness at the scene said his car was "totally destroyed, it is a wreck", claiming they found Chatah's identity card, torn and charred inside his car.

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