8 Jun 2009

Polling nears end in Lebanon

5:44 am on 8 June 2009

Polling is coming to an end in Lebanon after large numbers turned out for a parliamentary election.

It's a close race between the government coalition and an opposition alliance led by Hizbollah.

The BBC reports the Christian community which is split between the two sides, could decide the outcome.

Polls across Lebanon opened at 0400 GMT and will close at 1600 GMT. Some three million people are eligible to vote.

The current majority in parliament came to power in 2005, after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in a car bombing in Beirut.

The bombing forced Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon after a 29 years amid accusations of Syrian involvement in the attack. Damascus strongly denies the claims.