Hezbollah to ‘cut off hand’ of anyone over Hariri arrest

BEIRUT — Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned on Thursday that his group would “cut off the hand” of anyone who tried to arrest any of its partisans over the 2005 assassination of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sat 13 Nov 2010, 12:51 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:10 AM

“Whoever thinks the resistance could possibly accept any accusation against any of its jihadists or leaders is mistaken — no matter the pressures and threats,” Nasrallah said in a speech on closed-circuit television to mark his Shia group’s Martyr’s Day.

“Whoever thinks that we will allow the arrest or detention of any of our jihadists is mistaken,” he said, describing his political rivals as “in a hurry to see an indictment” in the five-year-old case.

“The hand that attempts to reach (our members) will be cut off,” he added, prompting thunderous applause from thousands of his party supporters gathered in a stadium in the Hezbollah-controlled southern suburb of Beirut.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a UN-backed investigation into the Hariri murder, is reportedly set to issue an indictment soon that will implicate high-ranking members of Hezbollah.

The head of the Iranian- and Syrian-backed movement has warned against any accusations by the tribunal and said further cooperation with the court would be tantamount to an attack on his powerful group.

Despite Nasrallah’s warnings, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri — son of the slain ex-premier — has vowed to see the tribunal through.

Analysts have warned that the standoff could lead to the collapse of the government and a repeat of the 18-month political deadlock that degenerated into deadly clashes and brought Lebanon close to civil war in May 2008.

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