UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is extending for three years the mandate of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which is prosecuting suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced the extension from March 1, 2018, saying the trial in absentia of four men indicted in the truck bombing in Beirut that killed Hariri and 22 others is taking place at the U.N.-backed tribunal outside The Hague, Netherlands.

He says the tribunal also has jurisdiction over attacks in Lebanon between Oct. 1, 2004, and Dec. 12, 2005, connected to the Hariri attack or similar in “nature and gravity.”

The spokesman says Guterres reaffirms the U.N. commitment to support the tribunal’s fight against impunity and bring those responsible for major crimes to justice.

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