February 28, 2005


BEIRUT (Reuters) – Jubilant opposition supporters in Lebanon have vowed to carry on with their protest in central Beirut in a bid to drive Syrian forces from the country after the collapse of the Damascus-backed government.

The pro-Syrian government of Prime Minister Omar Karami resigned on Monday after two weeks of protests, piling more pressure on Damascus, already under fire from the United States and Israel.

Thousands of demonstrators turned Beirut into a sea of Lebanese flags and exploded into riotous celebration when the government unexpectedly quit after a parliament debate on the killing of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri.

“This is just the first step. We are staying here to make sure they don’t set up a new government that is just the same. We are staying until we have independence,” said Carla Khoury, draped in a Lebanese flag.


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