UK & World News

  • 4 December 2013, 12:28

Hizbollah Leader 'Assassinated' In Lebanon

Hizbollah says one of its commanders has been assassinated outside his home in the Lebanese capital Beirut.

The militant Shi'ite group saidHussein al Laqiswas killed as he returned from work at around midnight in the Hadath district of the city.

Gunmen opened fire with an assault rifle while he was sat in his vehicle in a car park, Lebanese security officials said.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, but died from his injuries.

Hizbollah said: "Direct accusation is aimed of course against the Israeli enemy, which had tried to eliminate our martyred brother again and again, in several places, but had failed until yesterday evening.

"This enemy must bear full responsibility for ... all the consequences of this heinous crime."

However, Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry, denied his country was involved.

"Israel has nothing to do with this incident," he said.

"These automatic accusations are an innate reflex with Hizbollah. They don't need evidence, they don't need facts, they just blame anything on Israel."

Mr al Laqis was close to Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, a source within the group told the AFP news agency.

His son died fighting Israel in the month-long war of 2006, in which more than 1,200 Lebanese, mainly civilians, and more than 150 Israelis, mainly soldiers, were killed.