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Iran asks Lebanon to participate in embassy bombing investigation

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Iranian leaders asked Lebanon to investigate the suspected leader of an al-Qaida-linked group that claimed the bombing of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.

Lebanon's caretaker Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour confirmed Iran's request that Lebanon participate in investigating Majid al-Majid, head of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades that claimed it was responsible for the deadly bombing of the Iranian Embassy Nov. 19, the (Beirut) Daily Star reported Thursday.

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The twin suicide attack killed 30 people, including an Iranian diplomat, and wounded 150 others.

"Iran officially asked Lebanon to participate in the investigation with Majid al-Majid given that he is the one responsible for the Iranian Embassy bombings," Iranian Ambassador Ghazanfar Ruknabadi said.

Lebanese security officials announced Wednesday that Majid, a Saudi, had been arrested, although details of the arrest were not disclosed. The officials said Majid was being questioned at a secret location.

A security source told the Daily Star Thursday DNA samples from the suspect have been sent to Saudi Arabia and that results of the testing would be announced soon.

Saudi Ambassador Ali Awad Asiri said Lebanon informed Riyadh about the arrest of a Saudi citizen who, based on preliminary information, "is most likely Majid al-Majid. They are waiting to conduct DNA tests to be 100 percent sure."

Majid is on Saudi Arabia's list of 85 most wanted individuals for his links to al-Qaida.

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