( AP ) - Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah appeared in public Saturday for the first time in more than a year to take part in the most important holiday for Shiite Muslims.
Television footage broadcast on Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV station and other stations showed the black-turbaned Nasrallah, surrounded by a sea of people, taking part in Ashoura commemorations in the Hezbollah stronghold of south Beirut.
Nasrallah went into hiding for fear of an Israeli assassination and last appeared in public in September 2006 at a "Victory Rally" marking the end of a monthlong war between Israel and the militant Shiite group. Since then he has only addressed his supporters through video links or on television.
Ashoura marks the death of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson, who died in a battle in 680 against the leader of what became the Sunni branch of Islam. The battle took place in Karbala, which is located in present-day Iraq.