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Lebanon's Hariri says Syria's Assad fall "inevitable"

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese opposition leader Saad al-Hariri predicted on Thursday the downfall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom he accuses of assassinating his father in a massive bomb attack in 2005.

"The regime of Bashar al-Assad will inevitably go down. And its collapse will be loud not only in Syria but across the Arab world," Hariri said, speaking by a video link from Riyadh to mark the eighth anniversary of his father's assassination.

Rafik al-Hariri, a former prime minister of Lebanon, was killed by an explosion detonated near his motorcade in Beirut.

Lebanon, where Syria still wields significant influence, is deeply divided over the Syrian revolt and fears that the sectarian civil war that has claimed nearly 70,000 lives, according to a United Nations estimate, could spill over into its smaller neighbor.

In December, Syria issued arrest warrants against Hariri and a close political ally for "terrorist crimes" of financing and arming rebels fighting Assad.

Hariri, who lives outside Lebanon because of concerns for his security, said he will join his supporters in Lebanon during the parliamentary election expected in the summer.

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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