Hezbollah accuses Israel as member killed in Damascus

Other News Materials 13 February 2008 14:05 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - The Lebanese group Hezbollah said Wednesday a senior member, Imad Fayez Mugniyah, was killed in a car bomb in Damascus overnight, according to media reports.

A spokesman for Hezbollah said on its TV channel, al-Manar, Mugniyah was on Israel's hit list, according to al-Arabiya reports.

The blast in an upmarket area in central Damascus overnight left one man dead and two people injured, according to earlier reports.

A four-wheel drive Mitsubishi Pajero, which was parked in a street at a square, 300 metres away from an Iranian school, caused the blast, witnesses told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The blast occurred at 10.30 pm local time in the district that also houses offices of the Syrian intelligence services.

Mugniyah was reportedly a mysterious figure who did not make public appearances and worked secretly. He was accused of being the mastermind behind major terror attacks in the 1980s, mainly the attack on the US marines in Lebanon.

The blast comes ahead of the arrival of Iranian foreign minister, Manuchehr Mottaki, in Damascus where he was expected to meet Syrian officials as well as members of Hezbollah - one of Iran's main allies in the region.

Syria is a haven for senior members of radical Palestinian and Arab groups.

Terror attacks in Syria are rare as the country's security and intelligence bodies tighten the noose on all forms of opposition. A 2006 attack on the US embassy in Damsacus came as a shock to many Syrians.