[TIMELINE] Four turbulent years to Lebanon election


From sectarian clashes to political assassinations, the last four years in Lebanon have been racked by turmoil and uncertainty. Following is a timeline of major events that have rocked Lebanon:


June 7- Lebanon holds a legislative election contested by two coalitions that will determine the shape of parliament and government until 2013.

April 29 - The tribunal orders the release of four pro-Syrian security generals held since 2005 in connection with the killing. The prosecutor said an assessment of the evidence was not enough to warrant indictments.

March 1 - The Special Tribunal for Lebanon established to try suspects in the Hariri killing begins operations in The Hague.


Sept. 10 - A car bomb in a village east of Beirut kills Saleh Aridi, a close associate of a pro-Syrian Druze leader Talal Arsalan.

Aug 13 - On his first visit to Damascus, Suleiman and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agree to establish diplomatic relations between their countries for the first time since independence.

July 11 - Leaders agree on a unity government that gives effective veto power to Hezbollah and its allies.

May 25 - Suleiman is sworn in as president.

May 21 - The rival leaders sign a deal in Qatar to end 18 months of political conflict. It paves the way for parliament to elect Suleiman as president and the formation of a new cabinet.

May 15 - Arab mediators broker an end to the violence.

May 9 - Hezbollah takes over control of Beirut in what the government describes as "an armed and bloody coup".

May 7 - Responding to the cabinet move, Hezbollah and its allies paralyze Beirut with roadblocks. Gun battles break out with supporters of the U.S.-backed government.

May 6 - Siniora's cabinet accuses Hezbollah of violating Lebanon's sovereignty by operating a private telecommunications network and installing spy cameras at Beirut airport. The cabinet removes the head of airport security from his post.

Jan. 25 - Captain Wisam Eid, a police intelligence officer, is killed by a car bomb in Beirut.


Dec. 12 - A car bomb east of Beirut kills Brigadier General Francois al-Hajj, the army's head of operations.

Dec. 5 - Army chief General Michel Suleiman emerges as a consensus candidate for president, but his election is held up by differences over how to share positions in a new cabinet.

Nov. 23 - The term of pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud ends. The presidency is left empty as pro- and anti-Syrian factions are unable to agree on his successor.

Sept. 19 - A car bomb in Beirut kills anti-Syrian Christian lawmaker Antoine Ghanem.

Sept. 2 - Lebanese troops seize control of Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in north Lebanon after 15 weeks of fighting with al Qaeda-inspired Fatah al-Islam militants. More than 420 people, including 170 soldiers, are killed.

June 13 - Anti-Syrian parliamentarian Walid Eido is killed by a car bomb in Beirut.


Dec. 1 - Hezbollah and its allies set up a tent city outside Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's office in Beirut, beginning a street campaign to press their demand for effective veto power in government.

Nov. 21 - Industry Minister and MP Pierre Gemayel, a member of the anti-Syrian coalition, is killed by gunmen.

Nov. 11 - After the collapse of talks on giving Hezbollah and its allies more say in government, five pro-Syrian ministers belonging to Hezbollah and the Amal movement resign, stripping cabinet of all Shiite representation.

July 12 - Hezbollah captures two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid, setting off a 34-day war which is eventually halted by a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Feb. 6 - Christian leader Michel Aoun, head of the Free Patriotic Movement, strikes a political alliance with the Syria- and Iran-backed Shiite group Hezbollah.


Dec. 12 - Gebran Tueni, anti-Syrian member of parliament and Lebanese newspaper magnate, is killed by a car bomb near Beirut.

Oct. 20 - In a report to the U.N. Security Council, the preliminary findings of the international investigation implicate high-ranking Syrian and Lebanese officials in the Hariri killing. Syria denies any role.

June 19 - Lebanese parliamentary elections end in victory for anti-Syrian alliance led by Hariri's son Saad al-Hariri.
June 21 - Former Communist Party leader and critic of Syria George Hawi is killed in Beirut by a bomb in his car.

June 16 - An international investigation into Hariri's killing begins.

June 2 - Samir Kassir, a journalist and critic of Syria's role in Lebanon, is assassinated in Beirut.

April 26 - Last Syrian soldiers leave Lebanon.

Feb. 14 - Former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri is killed by a massive truck bomb in Beirut, triggering international pressure on neighboring Syria to end a 29-year military presence in Lebanon.