“February 14” and the Legacy of Violence in Lebanon
Written by Malek   

W460

by Naharnet- Lebanon marks on Tuesday the twelfth anniversary of slain former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in a massive and shocking suicide bombing in 2005 that destabilized the country. In downtown Beirut, political leaders and ordinary citizens gathered to lay flowers at Hariri’s grave. Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader and Prime Minister Saad Hariri visited his father's tomb early on Tuesday.

A torch sculpture, that is part of a memorial that includes a statue of Hariri, was lit near the St. Georges Hotel where the blast went off at exactly 12:55 pm. Al-Mustaqbal Movement will hold a commemoration ceremony at BIEL at 4:00 p.m. marking the occasion. The Feb. 14, 2005 assassination killed Hariri and 21 others and wounded more than 200 people, stunning a nation long used to violence. The charismatic billionaire businessman was Lebanon's most prominent Sunni politician. Although a divisive figure, he was credited with rebuilding downtown Beirut after the ravages of the 1975-90 civil war. The massive explosion that tore through his convoy on the Beirut seaside 12 years ago sent a tremor across the region and unleashed a popular uprising that briefly united the Lebanese and ejected Syrian troops from the country. But despite millions of dollars spent, justice remains elusive in a case that has been overshadowed by more recent turmoil. Five Hizbullah suspects are being tried in absentia by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon based in The Hague.