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UN Agrees to Help Investigate Murder of Lebanese Politician


The U.N. Security Council has approved a request from Lebanon for help in investigating the assassination of anti-Syrian politician Pierre Gemayel.

The Council acted shortly after Secretary-General Kofi Annan informed the U.N. body that Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora wanted help from U.N. investigators.

The same U.N. team has implicated Syrian officials in last year's killing of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Earlier Wednesday, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations, John Bolton, called for quick U.N. action in the Gemayel investigation while -- as he put it -- "the crime scene evidence is still fresh and before obstruction of justice can take place."

Gemayel was shot and killed in his car Tuesday near Beirut. His funeral is scheduled for Thursday. Anti-Syrian leaders in Lebanon have blamed Damascus for Gemayel's assassination. Syria has denied involvement in the killing.

Gemayel is the latest anti-Syrian politician to die by violence in Lebanon in the past two years, but Syria has denied it had any role in those attacks. The U.N. Security Council has approved plans for a special international tribunal to try suspects in the killing of Mr. Hariri in 2005.

On Wednesday, President Bush pledged U.S. support for Lebanon against what U.S. officials are calling encroachments by Iran and Syria.

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