Voters in two areas of Lebanon cast ballots Sunday to replace two assassinated anti-Syrian members of parliament.
Security forces deployed around Beirut and in Metn, in the mountains northeast of the capital, to prevent election-related violence in the two districts.
A candidate from the ruling anti-Syrian majority of parliament is expected to win the Beirut vote to replace Walid Eido, a Sunni Muslim who was killed in a bombing in June.
But the election to fill the seat of slain Maronite Christian lawmaker Pierre Gemayel has shaped up as a test of strength between two Christian camps weeks before Lebanon's parliament elects a Maronite as the country's president.
Former Lebanese President Amin Gemayel is running for the seat of his slain son as a member of the ruling party. He faces Kamil Khoury, who is supported by former prime minister and presidential aspirant Michel Aoun.
Lebanon plunged into a political crisis last November when five pro-Syrian Cabinet ministers resigned after Prime Minister Fuad Siniora refused to give the pro-Syrian opposition veto power.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.