Beirut on Thursday mourned the victims of a powerful car bombing that killed a prominent anti-Syrian legislator and nine other people as the government, reeling from another blow targeting its supporters, sought international help.
Prime Minister Fuad Saniora has called for an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers and the international community to assist in the investigation of Walid Eido's assassination near a popular waterfront promenade in Beirut.
The bomb ripped through his car on Wednesday as he drove from a seaside sports club, also killing his 35-year-old son, two bodyguards and six passers-by.
On Thursday the bodies of Eido and his son were slowly being taken in ambulances from the American University Hospital in West Beirut to the Verdun neighbourhood where the slain politician lived.
The funeral procession went through the main thoroughfare of Corniche Mazraa in the Muslim sector, where pictures of the slain politicians were posted on walls and overpasses.
Saad Hariri, leader of the anti-Syrian majority bloc in parliament to which Eido belonged to, Druse politician Walid Jumblatt and other prominent anti-Syrian leaders marched behind the ambulances along with hundreds of people, with the crowds swelling as the procession went on.
Thousands of mourners gathered on the streets, waving Lebanese flags, those of the Hariri Future movement and banners of various Sunni factions.
"Somebody is trying to say that neither the international tribunal nor anything else can secure the Lebanese or their leaders. We will keep resisting and we will face this series of terrorist acts," Ghazi Aridi, the Lebanese information minister said.
The blast that killed Eido was a new blow to the stability of this conflict-torn nation.
It came just three days after the government, together with the United Nations, started putting together an international tribunal ordered by the UN Security Council to try suspects in the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Beirut two years ago, a move strongly opposed by Syria and its allies in Lebanon.
Eido was a prominent supporter of the tribunal, a staunch follower of Hariri and the seventh anti-Syrian figure killed in Lebanon in the past two years.
Many in Lebanon have accused Syria of being behind the slayings, a claim Damascus denies.
Lebanon's majority coalition blamed Syria for Wednesday's assassination.
Syria controlled Lebanon for 29 years until it was forced out after Hariri's assassination, and its Lebanese opponents believe it is seeking to regain domination by plunging the country into chaos.
Businesses, schools and government offices were closed on Thursday after the government declared a day of national mourning.
The killings were likely to further enflame Lebanon's bitter power struggle between Saniora's Western-backed government and its Syrian-backed opponents, led by the Hezbollah militant group.
Many fear the violence could push the polarised nation, with a fragile balance of ethnic and religious groups, into a new civil war.