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LEBANON: Hezbollah releases video, denies Israeli 'rocket' claims

October 16, 2009 | 12:19 pm

 
Al manar Hezbollah has released its own video claiming that the "rocket" captured on Israeli surveillance tape after an explosion at the home of Abdel Nasser Issa in southern Lebanon was nothing more than the rolled-up metal door to the garage where the explosion occurred.

On Monday, Issa, a Hezbollah member, was reportedly injured in the blast that scorched the garage of his home in the village of Teir Felsay. Competing claims surfaced immediately as to whether the explosion was caused by a Hezbollah weapons cache or an unexploded Israeli ordnance, with Israel airing footage taken by an unmanned drone supposedly showing Hezbollah fighters removing rockets from the site of the blast.

Hezbollah's footage, which originally aired on the group's Al  Manar television channel, shows men loading the door into a covered truck while UN peacekeepers look on. Click here to watch both videos on the BBC's website.

A piece posted on Hezbollah's website wa3ad.org explains that accidents with unexploded Israeli ordnances are not uncommon, and that some people may take them home and try to defuse them (Arabic link) in order to then sell the emptied shell to scrap-metal dealers. At least 290 people have been killed or injured by unexploded Israeli ordnances in southern Lebanon; a number of those incidents have been linked to scrap-metal collection.

Sheikh Naim Qassem, a top official in Hezbollah, has denounced the Israeli drone's violation of Lebanese airspace as the "real attack on Lebanon." Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh told the Lebanese daily As-Safir that he intends to file a complaint with the UN Security Council, of which Lebanon is a non-permanent member as of Thursday.

-- Meris Lutz in Beirut

Photo: Al Manar aired footage Thursday supposedly showing the "rocket" captured on Israeli surveillance film was actually the rolled-up garage door. Credit: almanar.com.lb

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