Lebanon marks on Valentine’s Day 12th anniversary of PM Rafik Hariri’s assassination

Former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri was assassinated in downtown Beirut on February 14, 2005
Former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri was assassinated in downtown Beirut on February 14, 2005

Lebanon marks on Tuesday ( Valentine’s Day) 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.

Future  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.

Future  Movement held  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. 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 Hezbollah suspects are being tried in absentia by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon based in The Hague. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasralah refused to hand them over to the court