Lebanon-based Shiite terrorist group says Israel is responsible for assassination of weapons program head Hassan al-Laqqis • Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah: "The killers shall be punished sooner or later. The blood of our martyrs will not go in vain."
Daniel Siryoti, Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff
Supporters listen as Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah speaks on a screen via a video link, Frida
Photo credit: AP
Photo credit: AP
Hezbollah on Friday threatened to avenge the death of Hassan al-Laqqis, a high ranking commander in the Shiite terrorist group who was killed in Beirut on Dec. 4, in an attack the group said was perpetrated by Israel.
Laqqis was believed to have been one of Hezbollah's senior commanders and head of its weapons program.
"All the leads, signs and data we collected confirm and highlight our first accusations against the Israeli enemy, along with prior assassination attempts, because Hajj Hassan [al-Laqqis] was exposed to more than one failed assassination attempt," Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah told supporters via a video statement. "It has always been a war of the minds between them and the Lebanese resistance. Hajj Hassan was one of those brilliant minds," he said.
Nasrallah further warned that Hezbollah will avenge the killing: "The killers shall be punished sooner or later. The blood of our martyrs, the elders and the young will not go in vain in the coming days."
A previously unknown group, Ahrar al-Sunna Baalbek Brigade, claimed responsibility for the attack in a message on Twitter. The group's name suggested Lebanese Sunni Muslim links.
Israel has denied any role in Laqqis' shooting and hinted that the motive may have been Hezbollah's military support for Syrian President Bashar Assad in his war with mainly Sunni Muslim rebels.
Hezbollah has sent several thousand fighters to Syria, helping to turn the tide in Assad's favor this year.
The open role of Hezbollah fighters in the Syrian civil war and the steady flow of Lebanese Sunnis joining the anti-Assad rebels have fuelled sectarian strife in Lebanon.