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Business-district bomb kills politician, injures 70

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BEIRUT — A powerful car bomb tore through a business district in the center of the Lebanese capital today, killing a prominent pro-Western politician and at least five other people in an assassination certain to raise sectarian tensions already soaring because of the civil war in neighboring Syria.

The blast, which wounded more than 70 others, set cars ablaze, shredded trees and shattered windows in a main street of the posh downtown Beirut area of five-star hotels, luxury high-rises and high-end boutiques. It sent a pall of thick black smoke above the nearby government headquarters and the seafront.

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