Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who is under death threat from Israel, has appeared in public for the first time in more than a year as Shi’ites celebrate Ashura, their most important holiday.
Addressing tens of thousands of supporters in the Lebanese capital Beirut, the leader of the Shi’ite guerrilla group vowed to respond to what he called Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty.
The ceremony came as Lebanon goes through its worst political crisis since the civil war, pitting the Hezbollah-led opposition against the anti-Syrian majority.
Nasrallah also gave unusually graphic details of the body parts of Israeli soldiers his group allegedly has in its possession – in comments believed to be aimed at speeding up talks on a possible prisoner swap.
Meanwhile, the Lebanon crisis was at the centre of talks between Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and Amr Moussa, head of the Arab League. The leaders discussed an Arab states’ initiative to end the stalemate, which has paralysed the Lebanese government for over a year and left the country without a president.