A car bomb killed a senior Lebanese army officer and at least two other people on Wednesday in the Christian town of Baabda, on the outskirts of Beirut. More than 10 others were wounded.
The officer, Brigadier General Francois al-Hajj, a Maronite Christian, was considered a top candidate to become the next head of Lebanon's army. He played a key role in the army offensive against al-Qaida-inspired militants at a Palestinian refugee camp Nahr al-Bared earlier this year.
A political party chief with ties to Lebanon's ruling pro-Western coalition, Dory Chamoun of Lebanon's National Liberal Party, says the assassination is an attempt to keep Lebanon in a state of political turmoil.
No group has claimed responsibility for the killing, which follows the assassination of eight prominent anti-Syrian figures in Lebanon over the last two years. Syria has denied involvement in any of the attacks.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem denounced the assassination of General Hajj, saying it threatens Lebanon's stability.