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Qassem after Meeting Wahhab: Tackling False Witnesses File Fortifies Internal Scene against External Accusations

Hizbullah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem stressed on Thursday that a solution to the crisis in the country starts in Lebanon through the cooperation of all concerned sides.

He said after holding talks with Tawheed Movement leader Wiam Wahhab: "Opening the false witnesses file is a priority that would fortify the internal Lebanese scene against foreign meddling and wrongful accusations."

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Army Officer and a Sergeant Killed in Operation against Deserter

An army major and a sergeant were killed Thursday when their vehicle came under gunfire during an operation against an army deserter in eastern Lebanon, an army spokesman said.

"A major was martyred during a raid in the town of Majdal Anjar (in the Bekaa Valley) in an attempt to find a deserter who had sought refuge there," the spokesman told AFP, declining to disclose his name.

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Al-Watan: Revealing Truth Will End Negative Impacts Accusing Syria of the Crime has had on Lebanese-Syrian Ties

The Syrian al-Watan newspaper reported on Thursday that revealing the truth in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri will serve to end the negative repercussions accusing it of the crime has had on Lebanese-Syrian relations.

It said that claims that the truth will result in unrest in Lebanon "is misleading as the truth will instill trust among the Lebanese political powers."

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Israel: Can Only Announce Hizbullah's Defeat When it is Destroyed

Commander of the Galilee unit in the Israeli army Yossi Bachar revealed on Thursday that that the Israeli army has prepared a plan to invade southern Lebanon and "destroy Hizbullah."

He told the Israeli Yediot Ahronoth newspaper that the Jewish state is now convinced that defeating the party lies in destroying it, adding that such a party should be removed from existence.

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Hariri in Cyprus on Official Visit

Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived in Cyprus Thursday for talks with President Dimitris Christofias.

An official welcoming ceremony will be held at the presidential palace for Hariri and the accompanying delegation -- Foreign Minister Ali al-Shami, Information Minister Tareq Mitri and advisor Hani Hammoud.

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Berri: I am Reassured by All the Saudi King and Syrian President's Efforts

House Speaker Nabih Berri stressed on Thursday the ongoing cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Syria, voicing his concern however with claims that contacts between the two sides had subsided.

He told the daily An Nahar Thursday that he is comforted with the efforts of Saudi King Abdullah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying that they wish Lebanon well.

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Gemayel Meets Iranian Ambassador

Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel met late Wednesday Iranian Ambassador Ghadanfar Roken Abadi at the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

Local media on Thursday said Gemayel discussed with Abadi outcome of Iranian leader President Mahmoud Ahhmadinejad's Lebanon visit.

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Clinton Phones Suleiman, Voices Concern over Mounting Lebanon Tension

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backed Lebanon's independence and stability as she voiced concern about tension there when she spoke Wednesday to Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, the State Department said.

Tension has been rising in Lebanon over the U.N.-backed tribunal, which is probing the 2005 assassination of Lebanese ex-premier Rafik Hariri, amid unconfirmed reports the court will indict members of Hizbullah.

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Army Beat Police Colonel, Arrest his Son

Army troops beat up police Col. Hussein Saleh late Wednesday and arrested his son over traffic priority, media reports said.

They said a Lebanese army patrol that happened to be passing by when the colonel's son pulled his gun on a motorist over traffic priority arrested the young man.

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4 Wounded in Rocket Attack in north Lebanon

Four women were injured when a rocket smashed into a building in north Lebanon's main city of Tripoli, the army said.

"A rocket hit the roof of a building in Jabal Mohsen, wounding four women," an army spokesman said, without elaborating.

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