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Over Half-Million At Anti-Syria Rallies In Beirut

14 March 2005 -- Reports say from 500,000 to 1 million people have gathered in central Beirut for a rally aimed at forcing Syria to withdraw from Lebanon.

Reports say demonstrators are still arriving from all parts of the country.

The demonstration comes a month after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, which many in Lebanon blame on Syria. Syria has denied any involvement.

A pro-Syria rally yesterday drew about 500,000 people -- and reports say today's demonstration is larger.

Syria has already announced plans to withdraw its troops from the country amid intense international pressure, though the timing and details of the pullout have yet to be worked out.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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