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Lebanese form giant ‘U’ for unity in time of crisis

Lebanon is deeply affected by the conflict in Syria, which has killed close to 200,000 people since its outbreak in March 2011

Published: Updated:

Nearly 2,000 Lebanese gathered in Beirut Saturday to form a giant letter “U” -- standing for unity -- as the country struggles to contain the fallout from neighbor Syria’s civil war.

Lebanon is deeply affected by the conflict in Syria, which has killed close to 200,000 people since its outbreak in March 2011.

Organized by the Beirut Celebration non-governmental organization, the event marked Lebanon’s 71st Independence Day anniversary.

Due to a political crisis that has left the country without a president and which has delayed parliamentary elections, no formal celebrations were held Saturday to mark Lebanon’s independence from France.

The cancellation of an annual commemorative military parade was the first since the end of Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war.

Organizers said the 1,860 participants in Saturday’s stunt were mainly children and teenagers, and claimed to set a new world record for the largest human letter.