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At least twenty people have been killed and 150 wounded in an explosion near the Hezbollah headquarters in Lebanese capital Beirut, according to security sources. Sunni radicals have claimed responsibility for the sectarian attack.
“This is the second time that we decide the place of the battle and its timing…And you will see more, God willing,” said a video statement from a group calling itself Brigades of Aisha, addressed to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Hezbollah represents a rival Shi’ite offshoot of Islam.
The blast — reportedly from a car bomb — rang out outside “Mafhouz Stores”, an upmarket shopping mall in a predominantly Shi’ite district late afternoon on Thursday. A handful of buildings and dozens of nearby cars were damaged, as local TV cameras captured hundreds of bystanders trying to escape the smoke and fire in panic. Watch video. http://youtu.be/nU_oiyk59WQ
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The Lebanese Army finds tunnels in Sidon. The tunnels connect several buildings controlled by supporters of Takfiri cleric Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir. This comes as the Lebanese troops are also going ahead with their mop-up operation following fierce clashes with the armed followers of Sheikh Assir. The Army is reported to be in full control of the city and the troops have seized control of the radical cleric’s base.
The Lebanese troops have also seized rocket launchers, machineguns and military uniforms inside the base. They are still searching for the radical cleric, who’s a staunch supporter of Takfiri insurgents fighting the Syrian government. Some analysts say the battle has been a major blow to the takfiris, others have a different idea.
Lebanon’s Army has pledged to fight until it ‘finishes with’ the radical cleric. He is believed to have hundreds of armed supporters in Sidon involved in the fighting.
Experts say, although Salafist groups have put a lot of energy and money into fueling the Shia-Sunni strife in Lebanon, whether or not they manage to pursue their ambitious plan remains to be unseen.
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Unfortunately, Lebanon’s “Daily Star” newspaper is reporting that two of the Senator’s new pals are Mohamed Nour and Abu Ibrahim – a couple of unsavory guys who stand accused of kidnapping 11 Shi’ite pilgrims in May of last year and a Lebanese journalist in October. Two of the kidnapping victims have since been released, and one of them – Anwar Ibrahim – recognized Nour in the McCain photos. The other nine captives are still being held hostage and negotiations are ongoing.
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A much anticipated speech for Hezbollah secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah. After escalated accusations that Hezbollah is fighting alongside the Syrian government Nasrallah described the media hype about the numbers of Hezbollah fighters being killed in Syria as lies. He reiterated that the movement was providing assistance to Lebanese who live in border villages in Syrian territory against attacks by armed groups. However he clearly implied that Hezbollah, along with other sides could get more involved in Syria if some dramatic developments took place. His words appeared addressed to both the Syrian opposition and foreign powers, amid the calls for foreign military intervention over alleged use of chemical weapons
Nasrallah did say that the shrine of Sayyeda Zainab in Damascus was being protected, without mentioning who was providing such protection against the Takfiri groups. Sayyeda Zainab is the granddaughter of Prophet Mohammad and her shrine is considered sacred particularly to Shiite Muslims. Hence, Hezbollah’s leader cautioned that any attack on the shrine could repeat the Iraqi scenario when the holy shrine in Samaraa was attacked. That attack ignited sectarian Sunni Shiite strife and almost led to civil war. Such strife is something Hezbollah has long been trying to prevent.
Nasrallah also warned that the continuation of the Syrian crisis threatens the Palestinian cause, saying that this cause was on the verge of annihilation. He again said that the Syrian crisis serves Israel’s interests, but warned that Hezbollah was ready more than ever before to face Israel despite this crsis.
Israel has deployed thousands of troops near the border with Lebanon for military drills. Israeli military officials however stated that these drills are not related to regional developments
Hezbollah’s leader has made it clear that he views the crisis in Syria as part of a broader plot which also targets Hezbollah itself. And therefore Sayyed Hasan sent a clear message that it would stop at nothing to prevent the fall of the Syrian government by military means , including foreign intervention.As such a scenario would mean victory for Hezbollah’s arch rival Israel