US to freeze assets over Hariri killing

George Bush has authorised the freezing of assets of anyone involved in the 2005 assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafiq al-Hariri, while the US ambassador to the UN has called for a new security council resolution on Syria.

The move by the US president reinforced suspicions about Syrian involvement in the Beirut truck bombing that killed al-Hariri and 20 others on 14 February, 2005.

In an executive order, Bush authorised the secretary of the treasury to freeze assets of people who are determined to have been involved in al-Hariri's death or to have obstructed the work of UN investigators.

A UN commission has linked Syrian and Lebanese intelligence agents to al-Hariri's death. Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, has denied the accusations.

The order also targets anyone involved in an assassination or bombing in Lebanon since October 1, 2004, related to al-Hariri's killing or implicating the Syrian government, an administration official said.

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