Alongside one of the busiest roads in Beirut, a booby-trapped car shook the densely populated and mostly Christian neighborhood of Horsh Tabet in Sin al-Fil - killing MP Antoine Ghanem and six others.Ghanem, 64, was a low-key legislator from the Christian Phalange Party. He was the eighth prominent anti-Syrian figure assassinated since 2005, and the fourth lawmaker from the ruling coalition to be killed, reducing the ruling majority's voting weight in Parliament - with pro-government lawmakers holding 68 of Parliament's 128 seats, compared to the opposition's 59."Syria is back and is killing off more of our anti-Syrian politicians!" cried a bloodied Emile Abou Hamad, whose car-rental business near the site of the blast sustained heavy damage, echoing similar angry accusations by pro-government officials.After a respite of three months since the last assassination - that of another pro-government MP, Walid Eido, - Lebanese tuned into familiar television images of shattered glass, burning cars, and rescue teams recovering mangled corpses.Security sources estimated that the device contained 20-30 kilograms of TNT and was detonated by remote control as Ghanem's car passed by, wounding 56 people in the process.Pro-government officials tied the slaying of Ghanem directly to the upcoming parliamentary vote, saying the killing aimed to deprive the ruling coalition of its majority.
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