Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Lebanese President blamed for murder attempt on journalist

Asharq Al-Awsat :

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat - The Lebanese journalist May Chidiac critically wounded in a car bomb in Jounieh on Sunday night was in “a stable but critical condition” after undergoing several operations and losing her left hand and leg, doctors at Hotel Dieu Hospital announced on Monday.

...Chidiac’s sister, Micheline, has yet to come to terms with the attack on the journalist. She broke down after every visit to the intensive care unit and silently referred to the amputation of Chidiac’s left arms and leg. “She is unable to talk”, friends maintaining a round-the-clock vigil since Sunday night said.

Yvette, the wounded journalist’s mother was reported to be “coping after being sedated.” The family source described how “She lost consciousness when she first saw her daughter badly injured.”

Denise Rahme, a colleague at LBCI television, described to Asharq al Awsat how she was among the first to arrive at Our Lady of Lebanon hospital in Jounieh, where Chidac was first taken.

“It was my day off. My cousin called me and told me the news. I immediately headed to the station and then to the hospital where I arrived before her mother and sister. I didn’t get too close to May and see for myself the extent of her injuries. I wanted to preserve in my head the image of May as always immaculately dressed. I heard her whisper, “Help me, help me”. I am still haunted by her words.”

Meanwhile, the Lebanese Minister of Communication, Marwan Hamadeh, blamed Syrian intelligences services and Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud for the blast.

Speaking to the press, Hamadeh said, “Those who attempted to kill May are the ones who tried to kill me”. The Minister was the target of an assassination attempt in October 2004.

The security services in Lebanon and Syria are responsible for this attack”, he indicated. Hamadeh warned that arresting the country's four top security chiefs was not enough to halt the cycle of violence currently engulfing Lebanon since the assassination of ex- Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February.