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Blast in Damascus kills Hezbollah's senior commander
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The Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah said a car explosion on Tuesday night in the Syrian capital Damascus had killed its senior commander Imad Moughniyah, Hezbollah-related television reported on Wednesday.



A TV grab from al-Manar Hezbollah TV shows an undated portrait of slain leader Imad Moughniyeh February 13, 2008.


In a statement released by the group, Hezbollah accused Israel of assassinating Moughniyah, who was indicted in the US for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA airliner in which a Navy diver died.


"With all pride we declare ... the brother commander hajj Imad Moughniyah became a martyr at the hands of the Israelis," the TV quoted the statement as saying.


The statement did not disclose how Moughniyah was killed, but local press said that a car explosion led to his death.


On Tuesday night, a silver Mitsubishi Pajero car exploded in the neighborhood of an Iranian school in Kafer Suseh and damaged five nearby cars and surrounding building.


Moughniyah, 45, known as Hajj Radwan, had been in hiding for years. He was indicted in the US for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA airliner in which a Navy diver died.


He was accused by Washington of the bombing of US embassy in Lebanon in 1983, in which 63 Americans and Lebanese were killed, the bombing of US marines barrack in Beirut, in which 241 died and the bombing of French barracks which killed 58 soldiers.


Moughniyah is also believed by Israel to have been involved in planning the 1992 bombing of Israel's embassy in Argentina in which 29 people were killed and the blast at a Buenos Aires Jewishcenter two years later that killed 95.


Hezbollah has called on its supporters to join a funeral procession for Moughniyah in Beirut's southern suburb on Thursday, the same day the pro-government majority March 14 coalition is planning to hold a rally to commemorate the third anniversary of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination in Martyrs Square in downtown Beirut.


(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2008)

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