Lebanon’s opposition leader Saad Hariri called on all Lebanese citizens to attend the funeral of slain intelligence officer Wissam al-Hassan and turn Sunday into the ‘Day of Rage’ against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Al Jazeera reported.
Friday’s bomb explosion in central Beirut killed eight people, including Brigadier General Wissam al-Hassan, head of intelligence for the internal security forces, and left up to 100 people injured.
“Every one of you is personally invited tomorrow to Martyrs' Square to the prayers for Wissam al-Hassan,” Hariri was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying.
There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, the first car bombing in Beirut in four years, but former Lebanese prime minister Hariri was quick to blame Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for the bombing.
“All of Lebanon, which Wissam al-Hassan protected from the plots of Bashar al-Assad… ... exposing himself so that you would not be blown up,” Hariri said in his appeal to Lebanese people to attend the funeral.
Even before Friday’s bombing, the conflict in Syria, which has raged since March 2011, had divided Lebanon into two camps: those who support Assad’s regime, such as the militant Shiite group Hezbollah and its allies, and those who oppose it, including the Hariri-led March 14 coalition.