Hezbollah blames Israel for top commander's death in Lebanon

Dec. 4, 2013 at 7:25 AM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Hezbollah accused Israel of killing one of its top commanders outside his home in Beirut, Lebanon, but Israel denied the allegation.

"The Israeli enemy tried to kill [Hassan] al-Laqqis many times ... but its attempts failed until this foul assassination overnight," the Daily Star quoted a Hezbollah statement Wednesday as saying. "This enemy should bear full responsibility and all the consequences of this heinous crime."

Israel denied any involvement.

"Israel has nothing to do with the incident. These automatic accusations are an innate reflex with Hezbollah. They don't need evidence, they don't need facts; they just blame anything on Israel," Ma'ariv quoted Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor as saying.

The Voice of Lebanon radio station Tuesday reported al-Laqqis was shot five times while in his car outside his Beirut home, Naharnet said. He died hours later from his wounds.

Al-Laqqis was said to be a close confidante of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and was described as a "jihadist leader who sacrificed his life."

Israeli security officials told Israel Radio al-Laqqis was a top logistics commander in Hezbollah and responsible for purchasing its rockets and weapons.

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