15 Feb 2009

Hariri killing remembered in Beirut

11:31 am on 15 February 2009

Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese have taken to the streets in Beirut for the fourth anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Lebanese flags were waved as people listened to speeches from political leaders amid tight security.

A UN tribunal into the killing begins work in the Hague in early March.

The BBC reports Syria has long been suspected of involvement in the truck bomb that killed Mr Hariri and 22 others. Damascus denies it had anything to do with the attack.

However, Syria was forced to withdraw its troops from Lebanon due to an international outcry over Mr Hariri's death. The military presence had lasted nearly 30 years.

The crowd fell silent at 1pm on Saturday to mark the exact time Mr Hariri was killed while driving along the seafront.

It was thought his support for a 2004 UN resolution demanding that Syrian and other foreign troops withdraw from Lebanon was the reason for the attack.

His death led to a wave of political assassinations.