Crowds at Beirut funeral for anti-Syrian official
Beirut: Soldiers on Sunday carried two flag-draped coffins through a central Beirut square packed with thousands of Lebanese mourners who turned out for the funeral of a top intelligence official and his bodyguard.
The men were killed in a massive car bombing that many blame on the regime in neighbouring Syria.
Soldiers set up road blocks and cordoned off Martyrs Square, where the coffins of Brig Gen Wissam al-Hassan and his bodyguard were brought for burial.
"We came for Lebanon`s future to show that we will not be scared," said Arama Fakhouri, an interior designer from Beirut in the cheering crowd.
Many people were shouting that al-Hassan was a martyr who was struck down while trying to protect Lebanon.
Al-Hassan, 47, was a powerful opponent of Syria in Lebanon. He headed an investigation over the summer that led to the arrest of former Information Minister Michel Samaha, a Lebanese politician who was one of Syria`s most loyal allies in Lebanon. He was among eight people killed in the attack on Friday.
"He was killed while he was defending his country," said Samer al-Hirri, who travelled from northern Lebanon to attend the funeral.
Ahead of the burial, there was a memorial ceremony attended by government officials and al-Hassan`s wife Anna, his two sons, Majd and Mazen, and his parents.
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