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The World

Lebanese Mourn Former Militia Leader

January 26, 2002|Associated Press

BEIRUT — Mourners paid their last respects to a former Lebanese militia leader slain by a remote-controlled bomb, lining up Friday to view Elie Hobeika's coffin at a Maronite Christian church.

Syria, meanwhile, joined Lebanese officials in accusing Israel of being behind Hobeika's slaying--a claim Israel has denied. Hobeika was an ally of Syria, which maintains troops in Lebanon.

Hobeika, 45, was killed Thursday along with three of his bodyguards when a 22-pound bomb went off near his car.

On Friday, 200 people filed past Hobeika's simple wooden coffin at a church near his home in Beirut. He was to be buried today in his home village north of Beirut.

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