Beirut to ask for extension of UN Hariri probe

Lebanon's government will seek a six-month extension of the UN probe into the assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri, the country's deputy prime minister said Thursday. The move came as Detlev Mehlis, the chief of the United Nations inquiry into Hariri's Feb. 14 death, accused neighboring Syria of trying to obstruct his investigation. The decision to extend the UN probe, which has already implicated top Syrian officials in the killing, was taken at a lengthy Cabinet meeting late Thursday. It was not immediately clear how the United Nations would respond to the Lebanese move to try extend the probe, which started in mid-June and has been mandated by the Security Council until Dec. 15. But Mehlis' probe into the truck bombing that killed Hariri and 20 others on a Beirut street has recently hit some problems and delays, making an extension likely.