Hizbullah Mourns Top Official al-Hajj, Sources Say Died in Iraqإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Hizbullah top official Ibrahim al-Hajj was laid to rest on Thursday in the Bekaa town of Qalya, as party sources revealed that the leader was killed Iraq and not in Syria's battles, which was suggested in earlier reports.
Al-Jadeed television announced on Thursday the death of al-Hajj in Iraq during his participation in operations aimed at “protecting holy shrines” there.
"Al-Hajj was tasked with training Shiite forces of several militant groups, on top of them the Sayyed al-Shuhada Brigades,” South Lebanon website noted, quoting party sources.
The sources did not reveal more information on the circumstances that lead to the Hizbullah official's death, but said that he had taken “regular trips to Iraq on security missions since the U.S. invasion of the country and the rise of a resistance against it.”
"He shared military tips and his experience with the resistance in Iraq,” they said, without elaborating on the number of Hizbullah deaths in the country.
"The party has lost several martyrs during the American occupation of Iraq, and they were in the country on training missions,” the sources said.
Websites close to Syria's opposition and others to Hizbullah had said on Tuesday that al-Hajj was killed in Syria's al-Qalamoun region.
Many Hizbullah fighters have recently died in the renewed clashes against Syrian rebels on several fighting fronts in al-Qalamoun villages, as the Syrian regime claims that it is bombing the Arsal plains “to prevent terrorists' infiltration.”
Al-Jadeed, meanwhile, provided details on al-Hajj's involvement in Hizbullah operations.
"Hajj Abou Mohammed Salman – al-Hajj's nickname – took part in capturing the two Israeli soldiers in 2006 and was involved in several operations,” al-Jadeed said.
He also tried to kidnap Israeli soldiers in the western Bekaa town of Kawkaba in 1999, and in 1992, he drove an Islamic Jihad group to the Palestinian border where it carried out an operation.
Al-Hajj stayed in the southern town of Aita al-Shaab during the July 2006 war and led several military and war activities there. He also participated in an attack on an Israeli force that was resting in a garage there, al-Jadeed said.