Lebanese terror Hezbollah said on Wednesday one of its commanders was killed outside his Beirut home overnight in an attack it blamed on Israel.
The group said in a statement that Hassan al-Laqqis was killed at around midnight in the Hadath district of the Lebanese capital. It gave no detail of the operation but said "the accusation is directed at the enemy, Israel".
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Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor denied Israeli involvement.
"Israel has nothing to do with this incident," Palmor said. "These automatic accusations are an innate reflex with Hezbollah. They don't need evidence, they don't need facts, they just blame anything on Israel."
The group said al-Laqqis was a "jihadist and a father of a martyr who was killed in 2006 in the Second Lebanon War."
It was further claimed that Israel had tried to assassinate al-Laqqis several times in the past without success.
Referring to Israel, Hezbollah said in a statement, "This enemy must shoulder complete responsibility and repercussions for this ugly crime and its repeated targeting of leaders and cadres of the resistance."
According to Lebanese security officials, al-Laqqis was in his car at his building's driveway when assassins fired five shots at him. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died of his wounds.
A source close to Hezbollah's secretary general said al-Laqqis was very close to Hassan Nasrallah. It was further noted that he was killed not long after Nasrallah's televised speech and that his funeral will take place in Baalbek on Wednesday.
According to the Lebanon Now website, al-Laqqis
headed Hezbollah's technology and communications unit and played a key role in restoring the group's communication array after the Second Lebanon War.
Foreign reports suggest that he was at one point in charge of Hezbollah's rocket arsenal, advanced weapons and military procurement.
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