Anti-Syrian lawmaker Antoine Ghanem was one of at least seven people killed by a car bomb in Beirut today, just days before Lebanon’s parliament is set to select a successor to pro-Syrian president Emile Lahoud. Ghanem was a member of an anti-Syrian governing coalition, which has been locked in a power struggle with Damascus-backed factions since November, Reuters reports.
One fellow lawmaker called the blast “a bloody message,” and former president Amine Gemayel told CNN it was “very, very dangerous for the future of democracy in Lebanon.” Ghanem, part of the Christian Phalange party, is the eighth anti-Syrian to be killed since 2005. The 2005 assassination of PM Rafik Hariri sparked protests that ousted Syrian forces from Lebanon. (Read more Syria stories.)