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Report: Syria to hold own Hariri probe

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Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated February 14.

(CNN) -- Syria has begun its own investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, after lambasting a U.N. inquiry which found evidence that Syrian officials were involved in the killing, according to a report from Syria's state-run news agency.

On Monday, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution demanding Syria cooperate with the U.N. investigation or face "further action."

The head of the U.N. investigation, German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, had welcomed a separate investigation by Syria when he presented the report to the Security Council last month.

Syrian Attorney General Ghada Mourad told Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) that the investigating committee met Thursday afternoon, and would interview all Syrians named in the Mehlis report, as well as review the minutes of the U.N. interviews.

Mourad said the committee would coordinate with the international investigating committee, as well as Lebanese judicial authorities, and she urged anyone with any information on Hariri's assassination to contact the committee.

Hariri, a veteran Lebanese politician who had become a critic of Syria's military occupation of Lebanon, was killed along with 20 other people by a powerful car bomb on February 14.

His assassination triggered massive protests that led to Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon.

Syrian officials strongly deny any involvement in the killing and have said the Mehlis report is false and politically motivated.

Syria also denies that it has not cooperated with the U.N. investigation, which expires on December 15.

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