BEIRUT: A Hezbollah commander was gunned down overnight Wednesday outside his home south of Beirut, in an assassination for which the Lebanese group held Israel responsible.
Since its founding in the early 1980s, several Hezbollah leaders and top commanders have been the targets of assassinations carried out by the party’s arch foe Israel or through its proxies. Also, since the involvement of the party in the ongoing conflict in Syria, a number of elite commanders and fighters have been killed battling rebel groups there.
The following is a timeline of assassinations of Hezbollah officials:
Dec. 3, 2013 – Hajj Hassan Hawlo al-Lakkis, a Hezbollah commander, was assassinated outside his house in the Hadath neighborhood of St. Therese as he returned from work. He was shot in the head and the neck five times. Hezbollah blamed Israel for the assassination as an unknown group called the “Free Sunni Brigades in Baalbek” claimed responsibility for the killing in a statement on the social media site Twitter.
Feb. 13, 2008 – Imad Mughniyeh, one of Hezbollah’s top military commanders and high on the United States’ “most wanted” list, was killed in a car bomb in the Kfar Sousse neighborhood in Damascus. The group accused Israel for the killing, a charge the Jewish state denied.
Jul. 19, 2004 – Ghaleb Awwali, a senior Hezbollah official, was killed in a car bomb in Beirut’s southern suburbs. An underground Sunni fundamentalist group called Jund al-Sham – Soldiers of Damascus – claimed it was behind the killing, while Hezbollah blamed Israel for the killing.
Aug. 2, 2003 – Ali Hussein Saleh, a Hezbollah official, was killed in a car bombing in the Beirut southern suburb of Haret Hreik. Lebanese police officer Mahmoud Abu Rafeh, who headed a Mossad-linked spy ring, confessed to the assassination.
Aug. 16, 1999 – Ali Hasan Dib, a Hezbollah official, was killed in a car bomb in the southern town of Abra in the Sidon area. Rafeh also confessed to Dib’s assassination.
Feb. 16, 1992 – Abbas Moussawi, Hezbollah’s former secretary-general, was killed by the Israeli army as its helicopters fired missiles at his motorcade while it was leaving the Nabatiyeh town of Tefehta, southern Lebanon. The raid also killed Moussawi’s wife Um Yasser and their 5-year-old son Hussein. He was succeeded by current Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.
Feb. 16, 1984 – Sheikh Ragheb Harb, one of the founding fathers of Hezbollah and a Muslim sheikh, was gunned down in the Nabatiyeh town of Jibchit in southern Lebanon. Lebanese Dany Abdullah, a member of the Israeli-affiliated South Lebanon Army, claimed to have killed Harb.