A UN-backed tribunal on Wednesday ordered the immediate release of four pro-Syrian generals being held in a Beirut prison for the 2005 truck-bomb assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafik Hariri.
Judge Daniel Fransen ordered the Lebanese generals freed after prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to justify their continued detention. They have been in custody in Lebanon since August 2005, six months after Hariri and 22 others were killed in a suicide bombing.
But prosecutor Daniel Bellemare said the generals could be arrested again if more evidence against them is uncovered.
Fireworks and scattered gunfire erupted across Beirut after the decision was beamed live to local television networks from the court's headquarters in the Netherlands.