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French Version


Brammertz takes yet another look at site of Hariri murder

Lead investigator wants road reopened: report

The head of the UN investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Serge Brammertz, inspected the bomb site Saturday amid media reports about new evidence that both underground and above-ground explosives targeted the premier's convoy.

According to a security source, Brammertz checked the blast site near the Saint-Georges hotel in Beirut Saturday, a month after his team set up a tent there to "analyze soil samples and carry out a comprehensive survey of all underground tunnels, pipes and the sewage system at this site."

The source said that "the tent was rented for the cost of $40,000." The tent was provided by the Lebanese government based on the commission's request, according to a UN probe spokesperson.

The source added that Brammertz was going to ask for the reopening of the road where Hariri's convoy was targeted more than a year ago.

An-Nahar daily reported Sunday that more than 100 DNA tests of soil samples and remains collected from the bomb site were carried out recently at one of Beirut's largest hospital laboratories.

The newspaper said results of these tests were expected to help Brammertz prove that explosives were placed under the ground to cause the blast.

Earlier reports said Brammertz reached this conclusion based on experts' findings of cracks in the foundations of the structures near the blast site, in addition to the fact that large amounts of asphalt had landed on the top floors of buildings in the vicinity.

Brammertz is expected to submit his second report to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan before mid-June, when his mandate expires. The UN Security Council is expected to discuss his report and decide whether to extend his mission after a request from Beirut.

Beirut 13-06-2006
Redaction
The Daily Star



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