Hariri murder blast reconstructed in France

A reconstruction of the 2005 blast that killed Lebanon`s ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri was staged on Tuesday at a military camp in France, an international tribunal probing the killing said.

Last Updated: Oct 20, 2010, 10:19 AM IST

Bordeaux: A reconstruction of the 2005 blast that killed Lebanon`s ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri was staged on Tuesday at a military camp in France, an international tribunal probing the killing said.

Investigators carried out a "controlled explosive experiment" at an air force camp in Captieux, near Bordeaux in southwestern France, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, based in The Hague, said in a statement.

"The controlled explosion involved replicating an explosion in order to carry out forensic tests," it said, adding that the test blast did not amount to a full-scale reconstruction of the assassination.

The court ordered the operation under its mandate "to identify and prosecute those responsible" for the massive bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others in Beirut in February 2005, it said.

Hariri`s killing was widely blamed on Syria but Damascus has denied any involvement.

The tribunal, based in The Hague, was set up by a UN Security Council resolution in 2007. It has no suspects in custody and no trials scheduled.

The court said experts appointed by the office of the prosecutor were present at the explosion, and will analyse the

results.
"The results and analysis will be part of the investigation and, as such, remain confidential," said the court`s statement.

The mayor of the local commune Georges Bernard told a news agency the blast took place about 5:00 pm (2030 IST).

Hariri`s assassination provoked a political crisis that led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops after a 29-year presence in Lebanon.

PTI