Lebanon marks anniversary of Israel's withdrawal

Lebanon marked the sixth anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon on Thursday, amid deep divisions among its rival leaders over the fate of Hizboullah's weapons. "The country is in a state of dangerous split. The resistance (Hizbullah) has become a divisive issue. There is no unanimity or even semi-unanimity over it," wrote Faisal Salman, managing editor of the daily As-Safir, in his column Thursday. After Israel's withdrawal, the government declared May 25 a national holiday. But this year, the government, dominated by anti-Syrian politicians, decided to cancel the holiday as part of what it described as a policy to cut down on official holidays. Schools were closed in southern Lebanon, but schools and government offices remained open in Beirut and other cities. Hizbullah planned to mark the occasion with festivities Thursday in formerly occupied villages, including a mass rally in the port city of Tyre where Hizbullah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah would deliver a speech.