In Beirut the President of the Lebanese Press Association was assassinated on Wednesday (23 July) by gunmen brandishing sub-machine guns.
SV & CU EXTERIOR Bullet-ridden car with shattered glass and blood-stained interior and the general prosecutor making notes in Beirut (3 shots)
CU INTERIOR Photograph of Mr. Taha shaking hands with late President Nasser
SV & CU PAN Weeping family of dead man, including wife and daughter
SV EXTERIOR Raid Taha's offices
CU INTERIOR Mr. Taha's empty desk with photograph (2 shots)
CU PAN Melhem Karam reads obituary of Taha to group of editors seated in conference room
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Background: In Beirut the President of the Lebanese Press Association was assassinated on Wednesday (23 July) by gunmen brandishing sub-machine guns. Mr. Riad Taha, the second prominent Lebanese publisher and journalist to be murdered this year, was killed after a seafront car-chase through west Beirut.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Taha was on his way to see Dr. Selim al-Hoss, the outgoing Prime Minister, when his car was chased by gunmen who riddled it with machine-gun fire. The bodies of the 53-year-old journalist and his driver were found inside the blood-splattered wreckage.
Mr. Taha was one of Lebanon's most influential journalists. In his home sits a photograph of him with the late Egyptian President Nasser. His family was deeply shocked.
Mr. Taha was the second leading Lebanese journalist to be murdered this year. The editor of the London-based Lebanese weekly Al-Hawadess was murdered in February. Last month (June) two other journalists were shot and wounded by gunmen in Beirut -- one a Syrian, the other the bureau chief of Reuters, Bernd Debusmann. Since then three other western journalists have received threats to their lives and have left Beirut including the British Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Tim Llewellyn. It was not disclosed who made the threats. Mr. Taha's death came as Dr. Hoss and President Sarkis met to attempt to form a government of national unity aimed at ending five years of factional bloodshed. Later Press Association editors met to discuss the killing. They were read an obituary of the man who had led the association since 1967, and later decided that no papers would be published on Friday (25 July) and Saturday (26 July) as a protest at the killing.