Eighteen former members of the Lebanese Forces were charged in July 1998 by Lebanon’s military prosecutor, with carrying out a 1996 bus bombing in Syria that killed 11 people. They were also accused of plotting to assassinate Interior Minister Michel al-Murr and the (now former) Electricity and Water Resources Minister Elias Hobeika. Murr and Hobeika are Christian allies of Syria and opponents of the Lebanese Forces. Hobeika is a former LF leader who defected to the pro-Syrian camp. A statement by the Political Council of the Lebanese Forces on 8 July 1998, denounced “acts of violence and sabotage by any individual, group or party”, stressing that the LF became a political party in 1991.