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Oil rises on Middle East conflict fears

BANGKOK--Oil prices rose Monday after violence in Lebanon sparked fears of wider unrest in the Middle East.

Benchmark oil for November delivery was up 63 cents to US$90.68 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell US$2.05 to end at US$90.05 per barrel on Friday.

Brent crude rose 59 cents to US$110.73 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Fears of instability in the Middle East flared anew Friday, when Lebanon's intelligence chief, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, was assassinated in a massive car bombing. He was a powerful opponent of Syria, which for decades has wielded political and military influence in Lebanon.

Al-Hassan headed an investigation over the summer that led to the arrest of former Information Minister Michel Samaha, one of Syria's most loyal allies in Lebanon. He also led the inquiry that implicated Syria and Hezbollah in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.

Syria itself has been riven with violence since an uprising against President Bashar Assad began in February 2011.

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