Hariri Rally, Hezbollah Funeral Reveal Beirut Divide

Lebanese mark the third anniversary of Rafik Harir's death. i i

Waving the Lebanese flag and holding posters of Rafik Hariri, thousands of Lebanese gather Thursday in Beirut to mark the third anniversary of the former prime minister's assassination. Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images
Lebanese mark the third anniversary of Rafik Harir's death.

Waving the Lebanese flag and holding posters of Rafik Hariri, thousands of Lebanese gather Thursday in Beirut to mark the third anniversary of the former prime minister's assassination.

Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of pro-government supporters are gathering Thursday in Beirut to mark the third anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The gathering is intended to bring together Christian and Muslim communities in the fractured nation; church bells rang out at the same time as the Muslim call to prayer.

Later, in southern Beirut, a funeral will be held for a senior Hezbollah commander who was killed Wednesday. Tens of thousands of Hezbollah supporters are expected to march behind the coffin of Imad Mughniyeh, a man considered a terrorist in the West.

The two high-profile events involving violently opposed political factions highlight the divide within Lebanon. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora is appealing for peace.

The BBC's Mike Sergeant contributes from Beirut.

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