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Hizbollah declares "strategic" victory over Israel

Written by: Staff

Beirut, Aug 14: Hizbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said today his guerrillas had achieved a strategic and historic victory over Israel and that it was the wrong time to publicly discuss disarming the group.

''We are before a strategic and historic victory, without any exaggeration,'' Nasrallah said in a televised address 12 hours after a U.N. truce halted the war between the group and Israel.

''We emerged from the battle with our heads high, and our enemy is the one who is defeated.'' Nasrallah, a turbaned Shi'ite Muslim cleric, criticised Lebanese politicians who had begun discussing the disarmament of the Iranian-backed group before the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon.

''There is a mistake in timing, both psychologically and morally,'' he said.

''This is a mistake. A big mistake. We have exerted a great effort to prevent any reactions (from Hizbollah's supporters) because what happened was insulting. I call on the people, the resistance lovers and supporters to pass over what they have heard.'' He also said teams from Hizbollah would from Tuesday start repairing homes damaged by Israeli strikes and said the guerrilla group would pay one year's rent and the cost of furniture to every owner of about 15,000 destroyed homes.


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