Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri - AP
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri Photo by AP
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Lebanon's caretaker prime minister returned home to Beirut on Friday, two days after a Hezbollah-led coalition toppled his Western-backed government.

Saad Hariri has been trying to rally international support in the U.S., France and Turkey since Hezbollah ministers and their cabinet allies resigned from Hariri's government over disagreements about a United Nations-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 killing of Hariri's father.

Hariri was meeting with President Barack Obama on Wednesday when his government fell.

The UN tribunal investigating the assassination is widely expected to indict members of Hezbollah soon, which many fear could rekindle violence in the tiny nation plagued for decades by war and civil strife. Hezbollah denounces the Netherlands-based tribunal as a conspiracy by the U.S. and Israel. It had demanded Hariri reject the tribunal's findings even before they came out, but Hariri has refused to break cooperation with the court and its investigations.

Hariri's office had no immediate comment on the outcome of his meetings abroad.

Opposition leaders said on Friday that Hariri would not be allowed to return to his post as prime minister.

Despite the reported rejection of Hariri's return to office, Lebanon's PM is expected to make a at least a temporary return as caretaker premier, something which had been asked of him by Lebanese President Michel Sleiman in the hopes of retaining at least  minimal stability in the country.

Hezbollah's dramatic withdrawal from Hariri's cabinet earlier this week prompted many to fear a recurrence of factional violence that is so common in the war-torn country.

An indication that some of those fears may have been founded came late Thursday as unknown individuals hurled grenades at the headquarters of Hezbollah ally Free Patriotic Movement's headquarters north of Beirut. No injuries were reported.

Speaking of the need to regain control of the potentially volatile Lebanese political scene, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said earlier Thursday that he was sure there would be no civil conflict between Shiites and Sunnis.

According to a Channel 10 reported citing the Al-Jazeera news network, Nasrallah, who had been reportedly holding meetings with other Hezbollah officials in recent days to discuss the political situation in Lebanon, blamed Hariri for the current political crisis, urging the Lebanese prime minister to remain on his overseas trip and not return to Lebanon.
 

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri - AP