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Lebanese Opposition Declares 'Uprising for Independence'

Lebanon's opposition has called for an "uprising for independence" and demanded the country's pro-Syrian government step down.

Opposition leader Walid Jumblatt told al-Jazeera television that pro-Syrian officials should leave Lebanon and the country should become independent and democratic.

The bold words from opposition officials follow increasing calls from abroad for Syria to end its long military and political involvement in Lebanon.

Friday in Beirut, Lebanon's tourism minister quit, complaining that the pro-Syrian government could not resolve the country's "dangerous situation."

On Monday, the country's popular former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated in a blast in Beirut. Opposition politicians have alleged that Syria, which has some 14,000 troops in Lebanon, was behind the killing.

In Syria today, President Bashar Assad replaced the country's chief of military intelligence with the president's brother-in-law. The chief oversees all of Syria's military forces.

Some information for this report provided by AFP .