BEIRUT, Lebanon – A car bomb hit the motorcade of Lebanon’s outgoing deputy prime minister Tuesday, wounding him and killing at least one other person, officials said. A string of bombings has hit Lebanon this year. The blast left one vehicle a charred and twisted wreck and damaged several others in the motorcade of Elias Murr, who is also the outgoing defense minister. Murr, who was slightly wounded, later released an audiotape from the hospital saying his was all right. At least 12 other people, including the Mexican ambassador’s wife, were also wounded, officials said.President Emile Lahoud, Syria’s staunchest ally in Lebanon, has reportedly been pressing for Murr

Murr’s father, longtime politician Michel Murr, said his son had suffered wounds in the face and burns in his legs and arms and was currently in the operating room. “I want to assure you that his life is not in danger,” he told reporters at the hospital, where Lahoud and other politicians went to check on his condition.

The state-run National News Agency said one person was killed and six wounded, including an army colonel and the ambassador’s wife. Police put the number of wounded at 13.

Syria strongly denounced the assassination attempt against Murr, saying “this terrorist act is a new circle in the series of explosions and assassinations that aim at destabilizing Lebanon and weakening its national unity.”

A statement carried by Syria’s official news agency SANA said the “perpetrators are intricately connected to Lebanon’s enemies and to the enemies of stability in the region.”

Murr is the fifth person to be targeted for assassination over the past year —

The other attacks have targeted leading critics and political opponents of Damascus — most notably former prime minister Rafik Hariri, killed in a Feb. 14 blast. Anti-Syrian politicians accused the Syrian government and its allies in the Lebanese intelligence services of seeking to kill its rivals in Lebanon.

In September, Murr — the interior minister at the time — announced he uncovered an al-Qaida-linked plot to bomb the Italian and Ukrainian embassies in Beirut, assassinate Western diplomats and attack Lebanese security facilities.

Ten people were arrested, including Ismail Mohammed al-Khatib, who authorities claimed was the leader of an al-Qaida network in Lebanon. Al-Khatib died in police custody — of a heart attack, according to officials — but his followers blame authorities for his death.

In October, former economy minister Marwan Hamadeh survived a car bomb explosion with serious injuries. His bodyguard was killed. Hariri’s assassination in February led to mass anti-Syrian protests and intensified international pressure that forced Syria to withdraw its army from Lebanon in April.

But even after the Syrian withdrawal, bombings continued. Anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir and former Communist Party leader George Hawi were killed in separate bombings of their cars in June.