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Lebanese opposition in biggest rally to date

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Lebanese opposition in biggest rally to date

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Lebanese opposition leaders had promised a huge rally for Sunday and they delivered. Hundreds of thousands of people filled the centre of Beirut as 10 days of round-the-clock anti-government protests reached a new level of intensity. Giant loud speakers blared out nationalist songs as Hezbollah supporters and Maronite Christians demanded an end to Fouad Siniora’s reign. Holed-up in his well-protected office, the Prime Minister refuses to give in to what he sees as an attempted coup. His supporters staged their own rally in Lebanon’s second city – tens of thousands gathered in Tripoli.

The pro-Syrian opposition is threatening to step up its campaign, possibly by blockading administrations buildings, Beirut airport and key roads. However, it is understood all sides have accepted an invitation to the negotiating table extended by the Arab League. Meanwhile Siniora sent a satellite address to a memorial ceremony a year after the assassination of anti-Syrian journalist and MP, Gebran Tueni. Many Lebanese suspect Syria was behind his killing, and that of other figures including former Prime Minister, Rafik al Hariri.