Lebanese Politician murdered during talk of reconciliation in Lebanon

Hezbollah and Arslan ally reported dead in car-bombing

An explosion rocked the Aley town of Baysour, southeast of Beirut, late Wednesday, and initial reports indicated that a senior member of Youth and Sports Minister Talal Arslan’s Lebanese Democratic Party (LDP) had been assassinated. According to Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. television, Saleh Aridi, a member of the LDP’s political bureau, was killed when a booby-trapped car exploded outside a municipal office in Baysour. At least four other people were reported wounded in the blast, LBC said.

Another media report said that a car-bomb had been detonated as Aridi’s vehicle drove past it in Baysour.

Lebanon, particularly the Beirut area, had witnessed a period of relative calm since an agreement was signed in Doha in late May following street clashes earlier that month that claimed at least 65 lives. And on Monday, rival parties in the Northern city of Tripoli signed a reconciliation deal to end deadly fighting that had persisted there.

Arslan, a rival of Progressive Socialist Party leader and MP Walid Jumblatt for support within Lebanon’s Druze community, returned to Cabinet under the terms of the Doha Accord, which increased opposition representation in a national unity government.

Agence France Presse said a Lebanese Armed Forces officer had confirmed that Aridi did not survive the blast.

No other details were available when The Daily Star went to press.

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