Lebanon’s militant movement accuses opponents of killing its men

May 11th, 2008 - 2:37 am ICT by admin  

Beirut, May 11 (DPA) Lebanon’s Shia militant movement Hezbollah Saturday accused followers of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt of killing two of its members in a mountainous area east of Beirut. “We hold Jumblatt responsible for the two men who were killed,” a Hezbollah statement said, adding: “A third member of our group is still missing. We demand a clear answer on his fate.”

Jumblatt, an anti-Syrian MP, is also the head of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP).

A total of 35 people have been killed and dozens wounded in Lebanon’s recent violence - the worst sectarian bloodshed since the 1978-90 civil war that killed 150,000 people and left Beirut divided along religious lines.

Hezbollah seized the Sunni neighbourhoods of Beirut after its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, Thursday accused the US-backed government of “declaring war” on his group.

Jumblatt said he will put the issue in the hands of the government and if “the investigations shows the two Hezbollah men were slaughtered, I am ready to hand over anyone involved … I am ready to bear the consequences myself after the investigation is over.”

In comments seemingly aimed at easing tensions, Jumblatt said that if the army decides that Hezbollah’s controversial communications network at Beirut airport is a “key element to protect Hezbollah leaders from Israel, then we are ready to accept it.”

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