Hezbollah receives coffins of its 2006 war ‘martyrs’

July 16th, 2008 - 7:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Naqoura (Lebanon), July 16 (DPA) The Lebanese Shia Hezbollah movement Wednesday began unloading the remains of seven of its fighters from Red Cross trucks at Lebanon’s border with Israel. Dozens of Hezbollah men carried the wooden coffins of their dead “martyrs” who fell during the July 2006 war.

Israel Wednesday handed over the remains of the seven as well as those of Dalal al-Moghrabi, the female Palestinian militant who carried out a deadly attack in Israel in March 1978 in which more 30 Israelis were killed.

The coffins were lined up under a tent at the border crossing of what is known to Lebanese as Naqoura and Israelis as Rosh Ha’Nikra Naqoura.

A symbolic ceremony to honour the fighters and five Lebanese prisoners due for release later Wednesday was slated to take place on the Lebanese side of the border.

Hezbollah officials at the scene were seen signing papers presented by the Red Cross, to confirm they have received the bodies.

A Hezbollah source told DPA that the car carrying the five live Lebanese prisoners was enroute from northern Israel into the Naqoura.

“They should be now with the German UN mediator who is at the scene between the border of Israel and Lebanon,” the source said.

ICRC officials were seen preparing themselves for the handing over of the five prisoners - Israel’s longest-held Lebanese prisoner Samir Kuntar and four fighters captured during the July-August 2006 war - Khodor Zaidan, Maher Kourani, Mohammed Srour and Hussein Suleiman.

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