Key events after al-Hariri's killing

Lebanon questioned three former pro-Syrian security chiefs on Tuesday over the murder of five-time prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri.

    A massive car-bomb blast killed Rafiq al-Hariri in February

    The following are the key events since the killing:

    February


    14: Al-Hariri, a billionaire businessman who also had Saudi nationality, is killed in a massive bomb blast on the Beirut seafront that also kills another 19 people.

     

    - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad condemns it as an "odious crime".


    - The Lebanese opposition blames the government and its Syrian backers for the murder and calls for a withdrawal of Syrian troops who first deployed in 1976 shortly after the start of the Lebanese civil war.

    15: The UN Security Council asks Secretary-General Kofi
    Annan for an urgent report into the assassination and presses Syria to pull out its estimated 14,000 troops.

    16: Al-Hariri is buried in Beirut in a funeral that turns into a massive public protest against Syria, the first of many.

    24: Syria says it is ready to withdraw troops from Lebanon in line with the 1989 Taif accord that paved the way for the end of the civil war.

    28: Prime Minister Omar Karameh tenders his resignation as tens of thousands of opposition demonstrators rally.

    March

    5: Al-Assad says Syria will pull back all its troops to the border but does not set a timetable for a full withdrawal.

    8: About 6000 Syrian troops begin redeploying towards the Bekaa, as Lebanon's pro-Syrian camp led by Hizb Allah stages a massive show of force at a rally by 400,000 demonstrators in Beirut.

    23: Three people are killed in one of a series of bombings.

    April

    7: UN Security Council sets up an inquiry into al-Hariri's assassination after a fact-finding mission blames Syria for tension in Lebanon preceding the attack but does not speculate who killed him.


    - Syria begins final phase of troop pullout.

    15: Pro-Syrian businessman Nagib Miqati is named prime minister.

    26: The last Syrian soldier crosses border.

    May

    7: Christian nationalist Michel Aoun returns from 15 years' exile in France.

    13: Violence flares on border with Israel, with Israel launching air raids in south Lebanon and reportedly destroying Hizb Allah positions after rocket attacks near the disputed Shebaa Farms.

    23: UN verifies that Syria has "fully" withdrawn its troops.

    29: First round of elections won by alliance led by al-Hariri's son Saad al-Hariri.

    June

    2: Prominent anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir is killed in a Beirut car bombing.

    5: Hizb Allah and Amal coalition wins second round of elections

    12: Aoun and his supporters take most seats in third round of election.

    19: Saad al-Hariri's electoral lists win final round, giving him and his allies a parliamentary majority.

    21: Former Communist Party leader George Hawi is killed when his car blows up in Beirut.

    28: Amal leader Nabih Berri, from the pro-Syrian camp, re-elected parliament speaker.

     

    30: Anti-Syrian former finance minister Fuad Siniora is named to head the first government of the post-Syria era.

    July

    12: Defence Minister Elias Murr is wounded and two other people are killed in a car-bomb attack in Beirut.

    18: Parliament pardons Samir Geagea, the leader of a wartime Christian militia who had been serving a life sentence since 1994.

    19: Siniora announces the formation of a new 24-member government including a Hizb Allah member serving as energy minister

    August

    25: The Security Council calls on Syria to cooperate fully with the international investigation into Rafiq al-Hariri's murder.

     

    30: The head of Lebanon's Presidential Guard, Mustafa Hamdan, and three former pro-Syrian security chiefs are turned over to the international commission under arrest warrants. 

    SOURCE: AFP


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