Dueling Memorials Shake Beirut

Thousands gather to honor Hariri, Mughniyeh
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2008 8:16 AM CST
A worker at a printing shop works on a picture of slain Hezbollah top commander Imad Mughniyeh as they prepare for his Thursday's funeral in the southern port city of Tyre, Lebanon Wednesday, Feb. 13,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Tension is high and security tight across Beirut today as thousands gathered for two opposing memorials—one marking the third anniversary of the assassination of anti-Syrian PM Rafiq al-Hariri, the other a funeral for top Hezbollah commander Imad Moghniyeh. More than 8,000 army and international troops are trying to ensure violence does not break out between the anti-Syrian Hariri demonstrators and pro-Syrian Hezbollah mourners.

With steady rain in Beirut today, al Jazeera reports that many are staying home and “hoping that today passes without incident.” Hariri's assassination sparked a wave of political turmoil that has left Lebanon without a president or parliament. But Moghniyeh's death in a car bomb Tuesday has many pointing fingers directly at Israel amid calls to re-engage the July 2006 war.