Today in History: President Rene Mouawad Killed in Bomb Blast in Beirut

KOMPAS.com – Today, 31 years ago, on November 22, 1989 to be precise, the President Lebanon Rene Mouawad was killed when a bomb exploded on a road in West Beirut as his motorcade drove past.

At that time, he had only served as president for 17 days.

The bomb exploded at 13:45 local time in Bustros Bolevard in the Sanayeh district.

So strong, the bulletproof Mercedes limousine the president was driving was thrown off the road.

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Chronology

Launch AP, 23 November 1989, a police spokesman said, Mouawad died instantly in the explosion.

This explosion occurred minutes after the president held events celebrating Lebanon’s Independence Day.

In that incident, at least 23 other people were reported killed, including 10 of Mouawad’s bodyguards.

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Meanwhile, two other government figures, Prime Minister Selim al-Hoss (Sunni Muslim) and Parliament Speaker Hussein al-Husseini (Shia Muslim) were in the car behind the president.

They can escape and survive the deadly explosion.

Previously, it was reported that Mouawad was not injured in the explosion. A police spokesman declined to say the reason for the initial report.

One of the bomb disposal police officers at that time, Colonel Mohammed Khashab revealed that the bomb was hidden in a small shop and detonated with remote control.

After the incident, there was no direct statement regarding the party responsible for this bomb.

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Tension political conditions

As is known, Mouawad was elected as president on November 5, 1989 in a special session of the Parliament which was held in the territory under the control of Syrian troops.

Launch New York Times, November 23, 1989, the meeting was held at that time to ratify the agreement reached by members of Parliament in Taif, Saudi Arabia, to transfer some of the powers of the Christians to Muslims.

However, one of the loyal Christian forces, General Aoun, rejected the decision and vowed to mobilize his forces to fight what he considered to be a conspiracy.

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Therefore, General Aoun was accused of being the figure behind the bombing and was said to have threatened President Moawad in the past three days.

However, General Aoun was not the only one who rejected the new government.

Iranian-backed Islamic fundamentalists have warned members of the Shia Muslim Parliament who ratified the agreement and voted for Moawad not to return to their home villages.

Less than 24 hours before his death, President Mouawad gave his first speech and called on the public to “come together, rejoice, reunite and build the country”.

“The decision to achieve safety has been made and will be carried out regardless of the obstacles. We will not allow the greed and desire of anyone to get in the way of peace,” said Mouawad.

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On the other hand, General Aoun also delivered his own speech on the eve of independence. He accused Mouawad of being a “tool of the Syrian occupation forces”.

After Moawad’s death, that evening, Lebanese political figures gathered for a tense session in West Beirut to discuss the successor or successor of the president.

A statement issued by Hoss’ office said the government was trying to avoid a power vacuum that would undermine the peace plan approved the previous month.

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