France urges global enquiry after Beirut blast

14th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 14 (AFP) - France on Monday called for an international inquiry into a deadly blast in Beirut that claimed the life of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, President Jacques Chirac's office said in a statement.

PARIS, Feb 14 (AFP) - France on Monday called for an international inquiry into a deadly blast in Beirut that claimed the life of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, President Jacques Chirac's office said in a statement.

"France strongly condemns this crime. It asks that an international inquiry be launched without delay to determine the circumstances of this tragedy and who is responsible," Chirac's office said.

"France, like the entire international community, will closely follow the unfolding of this situation," it added.

"France pays tribute to the man who personified the unshakeable willingness to pursue independence, freedom and democracy in Lebanon," the statement said, adding that Chirac sent his condolences to Hariri's family.

The explosion, apparently caused by a car bomb, claimed at least nine other lives and devastated a busy seafront area in the centre of the Lebanese capital, in a scene reminiscent of the country's civil war.

Around 100 people were wounded, hospital sources said.

Hariri had a personal friendship with Chirac and often travelled to the French capital where he owns a multi-million-dollar home in central Paris.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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