Report: Lebanese industry minister assassinated

Lebanese Cabinet minister and Christian leader Pierre Gemayel was shot to death on a street in a Christian suburb of Beirut on Tuesday, Christian TV and Arab media reported. The shooting, coming at a time when Lebanese political and sectarian tensions already were at fever pitch, seemed certain to intensify the tensions, regardless of who was responsible. Gemayel was rushed to a nearby hospital, the Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. and Voice of Lebanon, the Phalange Party mouthpiece reported. He was initially reported in serious condition, but died of his wounds shortly afterwards. Gemayel, the minister of industry and son of former President Amin Gemayel, was a member of the Phalange party and supporter of the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority, which is locked in a power struggle with pro-Syrian factions led by Hizbullah.