Hariri Supporters Amass at Beirut Marathon: 'We Want Our Prime Minister Back'

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri unexpectedly announced his resignation a week ago and remains under possible house arrest in Saudi Arabia

Supporters of Lebanon's former prime minister Saad Hariri at Beirut's marathon on November 12, 2017
ANWAR AMRO/AFP

Runners taking part in Lebanon's annual marathon are urging Prime Minister Saad Hariri to return home after he resigned under mysterious circumstances during a visit to Saudi Arabia.

Spectators along the 26.2 mile (42.2 kilometer) course held signs reading "Running for you" and "Waiting for you," addressed to the prime minister, who participated in past races. Lebanese President Michel Aoun had encouraged runners to call on Hariri to return.

Hariri, a close Saudi ally, unexpectedly announced his resignation a week ago in a pre-recorded message broadcast on Saudi TV. Many Lebanese suspect he was placed under house arrest as part of a Saudi plan to wreck a coalition government he had formed with Hezbollah.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up its rhetoric against Hezbollah and its patron, Iran, in recent days.

A poster in Beirut reads, #WeAreAllSaad
MOHAMED AZAKIR/REUTERS
A poster in Beirut reads, 'We are all waiting for you'
Hassan Ammar/AP