Thousands of supporters of late Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005, began to assemble in downtown Beirut Saturday morning to commemorate the fourth anniversary of his death, dpa reported.
A massive rally is scheduled to take place amid heavy security measures put in place by the Lebanese army and the internal security forces.
Women, children and pensioners were among the crowds carrying pictures of the late Hariri and his son Saad, who is currently heading the ruling anti-Syrian majority, were seen walking to reach downtown Beirut where Hariri and six of his bodyguards are buried.
Hariri was assassinated in massive bomb blast on February 14, 2005, along with 20 other people. His assassination was widely blamed on Syria and its allies in Lebanon, a charge Damascus has denied.
Many of the Hariri supporters were beating drums and chanting pro- Hariri slogans as they reached the downtown area.
The official ceremony is scheduled to start at 10:30 am (0730 GMT). Speakers due to address the crowd include Saad Hariri and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.
A moment of silence has been planned for the time at which the explosion which killed Hariri took place, at 1 pm.Most roads leading to Beirut from south, north and east Lebanon were blocked with traffic by people heading to mark the occasion.