The United Nations Security Council has voted to establish a special court to prosecute suspects for the murder of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, two years ago.

Mr Hariri was killed in a massive car bomb explosion in Beirut in February 2005.

Ten council members voted for the Western-sponsored resolution and five abstained, including Russia and China.

Syria has condemned the resolution; it said the UN special court would violate Lebanese sovereignty and could plunge the country into further instability.

A UN investigation after the event implicated Syria.

Britain's ambassador to the UN, Emyr Jones Parry, said the organisation had to act because of internal political division within Lebanon.