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Nasrallah decries 'propaganda'
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  Article Date:
October 27
, 2008


The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement has denied allegations linking the organisation to a Colombian drug trafficking network.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised address on Saturday that claims that a drug gang was providing funding for Hezbollah were propaganda. 

"There is an attempt to damage the image of Hezbollah through lies and allegations such as the news published recently in the matter of Colombia," Nasrallah said in remarks broadcast on Hezbollah's al-Manary television channel.

"Unfortunately many Arab satellite networks did broadcast that report but without our denial."

Colombian authorities said on Tuesday that more than 100 people had been arrested in a number of countries after a drug and money-laundering operation which stretched from South America to Asia was broken up.

The attorney general's office said three of the men who had been detained inside Colombia were suspected of co-ordinating drug smuggling and channelling funds to Hezbollah and other groups. 

The Hezbollah secretary-general also rejected a report on a Iraqi website which said that he had been poisioned and had only been saved by emergency treatment from Iranian doctors.

"As you can see, I'm sitting here in front of you and I'm telling you there has been no poisoning. This is just an invention of websites," Nasrallah said.

The al-Malaf website said on Wednesday that Nasrallah, who is rarely seen in public because of fears for his safety, had survived an assassination bid in which a "highly toxic chemical substance" had been used.

Nasrallah said that the report could have been "part of the psychological war" against Hezbollah aimed at portraying internal divisions within the group, which is backed by both Tehran and Damascus.

Source: Agencies