Lebanon marks war's 33rd anniversary

Other News Materials 14 April 2008 05:39 (UTC +04:00)

( AP ) - Hundreds of Lebanese marked the 33rd anniversary of the start of their country's civil war with a march Sunday along the line that divided Beirut into two sectors during the bloody conflict.

The march came as Lebanon is mired in its worst political crisis since the 1975-1990 war, which claimed about 150,000 lives. The country has been without a president for nearly five months, and many fear Lebanon could once again slide into war.

"Today, after 33 years of wounds, we are still suffering and we haven't recovered from its effects, pains and memories," Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said in televised remarks to the nation.

Several hundred people marched from the Mar Mikhael intersection in Beirut's southern suburbs to downtown Beirut. The path followed a boundary once known as the "Green Line" that divided Lebanon's capital into a Christian east and a Muslim west.

Many in the crowd carried banners reading: "Our unity. Our salvation."

The country is deeply divided between a pro-Syrian opposition and Saniora's Western-backed government. A dozen politicians, journalists and members of the military and police have been killed in political violence since 2005.

Pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud left his post in November, and Parliament has been unable to elect a successor.