Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in central Beirut as Lebanon’s parliament prepares for a debate on the brutal killing of a former prime minister. Syria is held responsible by many Lebanese for the bombing that killed Rafik al-Hariri and over a dozen other people earlier this month. Lebanon’s Syrian-backed government has also been blamed
The protesters came out ahead of a government ban on demonstrations that came into effect at five am local time. Damascus, under growing international pressure to withdraw its 14,000 troops from Lebanon, denies any role in Rafik al-Hariri’s murder which it has described as terrorism.