Beirut (AFP) - Hundreds of people gathered in Beirut on Sunday for the burial of Mohammad Chatah, a prominent Lebanese critic of the Syrian regime, killed in a car bombing.

AMMAN, Jordan — Mourners in Beirut paid emotional tribute Sunday to a well-known Lebanese politician who was killed Friday in a car bomb, an attack that heightened tensions stemming from Syria’s bitter civil war.

Security was tight for the funeral of Mohamad Chatah, a former ambassador to the United States and an adviser to successive Lebanese leaders, who died along with six others in the massive bombing in the heart of Beirut’s commercial district.  More than 70 people were hurt.

Chatah, 62, was a critic of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah, which is allied with the Syrian regime. No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, the latest in a series of strikes that have taken place inside Lebanon but have appeared linked to the Syrian conflict.

Chatah’s casket, draped in velvet, was carried into a blue-domed mosque on the edge of the resonantly named Martyrs’ Square, where he was eulogized as a voice of moderation.

The mosque is the site where former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, to whom Chatah had been an adviser, is interred. Hariri died in a 2005 car bomb similar to the one that killed Chatah, and only a few hundred yards from Friday’s attack site.

Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said Chatah’s life and death should serve as an affirmation of Lebanon’s hopes for peace and pluralism. Outside in the crowd, however, some chanted angry slogans denouncing Hezbollah as a band of terrorists.

Sunday was declared a nationwide day of mourning for the victims of Friday’s car bombing, who also included a 16-year-old boy who died Saturday of his injuries, bringing the death toll to seven. When the explosives-laden vehicle detonated, the teenager was nearby, posing for a smartphone “selfie” with friends that subsequently went viral on the Internet.

Emotional scenes played out as the services were carried live on Lebanese channels and shown on a giant screen in the square. A bearded man wept as he knelt to kiss the coffin of one of Chatah’s bodyguards. Chatah’s long-haired 19-year-old son forced a tight smile as he embraced mourners.

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Bulos is a special correspondent. Staff writer King reported from Cairo.