Lebanon's US-backed government on Saturday approved the creation of an international tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of a former prime minister despite objections by Hizbullah and the country's pro-Syrian president.
Though widely expected, the government's approval was bound to further deepen the country's political crisis and spark mass street demonstrations threatened by Syrian-backed Hezbollah and its allies to topple the government of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora.
An ongoing UN investigation into the February 2005 truck bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others has said the killing's complexity suggests the Syrian and Lebanese intelligence services played a role in the assassination. Damascus has denied having any role in the killing.
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