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Remembering the death of Rafic Hariri (1944-2005)

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What: Death of Rafic Hariri

When: 14 February 2005

Where: Beirut, Lebanon

The former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri, was assassinated on 14 February 2005, when nearly 1,800 kilograms of TNT explosive hidden in a Mitsubishi van was detonated next to his motorcade as it was driving past the St. George Hotel in Beirut.

The blast created a crater thirty feet wide and left 23 people dead, including former Minister of the Economy Bassel Fleihan and several of Hariri’s bodyguards. The former prime minister was buried alongside his bodyguards adjacent to Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque in Downtown Beirut.

Born on 1 November 1944, in the southern city of Sidon to a modest Sunni Muslim family, Hariri studied at the Beirut Arab University, before moving to Saudi Arabia in 1965. Initially, he found employment at a construction firm, and later established his own business, Saudi Oger, in 1978. Much of the work involved building hotels, convention centres and palaces throughout the Middle East, which allowed Hariri to amass a fortune.

He returned to Lebanon in the early 1980s and, by then a millionaire, started funding national projects and donating to victims of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict. In 1983, Hariri launched his political career as an advisor to Prince Bandar Bin Sultan in Saudi Arabia, and established the Hariri Foundation, which supported nearly 40,000 Lebanese students to study abroad in Europe and the US.

After his assassination, there were several other bombings and assassination attempts against anti-Syrian figures, including senior intelligence officer Samir........

© Middle East Monitor