Lebanon News

Hezbollah hits back at Geagea accusations

In this Monday Sept. 17, 2012 photo, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah speaks to his supporters in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah rejected Thursday accusations made by Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea of the party’s involvement in the assassination of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan, who was killed in car bomb in Beirut’s Ashrafieh district last week.

“Geagea’s comments are all fabrications and false accusations aimed at provoking more strife and tension in the country,” a statement from Hezbollah’s media office said.

Hezbollah was replying to remarks made by Geagea in which he accused the party of involvement in the bombing that killed Hasan.

“Any wise and patriotic [individual] would reject such comments that can only be welcomed by those who are willing to do a service to the Israeli enemy and its criminal plans,” the statement said.

In an interview with the Saudi Al-Watan daily that was published Thursday, the Lebanese Forces leader launched a vehement attack against Hezbollah, accusing the party of carrying out a Syrian-Iranian scheme to assassinate Hasan.

“The pro-Assad regime, alongside Iran, is clearly and directly involved in the plot to liquidate Brig. Gen. Hasan, [a scheme] being carried out by Hezbollah,” Geagea said.

The LF leader launched a stinging attack on the country’s security authorities, accusing them of following Syrian-Iranian schemes being implemented by Hezbollah.

“Lebanese security services and security officials are going along with Syrian-Iranian plots that are being implemented by Hezbollah,” he told Al-Watan.

Geagea said Hasan, Lebanon’s top intelligence chief who was assassinated by a car bomb in Beirut last week, had dealt a severe blow to the ambitions of those who sought to drag Lebanon into the conflict in neighboring Syria.

Hasan was the head of the Internal Security Forces Information Branch who uncovered evidence of a plot involving former Lebanese Minister Michel Samaha and Syrian National Security Bureau head Ali Mamlouk to transfer explosives from Syria to Lebanon and carry out a series of assassinations in the country.

The March 14 coalition, to which Geagea belongs, has accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of being behind Hasan’s assassination.

Hasan was close to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the leader of the opposition. March 14 has called for Hasan’s case to be referred to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Geagea added that Lebanon would have seen more destruction than the damage caused by last week’s bombing had the plot involving Samaha not been uncovered by Hasan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 26, 2012, on page 3.




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