Lebanon arrests Hizbullah-linked tycoon
Lebanese authorities are holding in custody a prominent Shi'ite financier close to Hizbullah on suspicion of fraud after he invested hundreds of millions of dollars of other people's money before declaring bankruptcy, judicial officials said Wednesday.
The Kuwait-based newspaper Al-Watan reported that Hizbullah incurred some $683 million in losses as a result of Salah Ezzedine's activities.
Still - despite the financial blow - the next war seems closer than ever:
Traces of chemical weapons found in Hezbollah warehouse
Kuwaiti newspaper reports Hizballah built a number of warehouses that stored chemical weapons, among them the warehouse which exploded in July
The Kuwaiti newspaper, al-Seyassah, reported Thursday that the Hezbollah arms warehouse which exploded on July 14 in the town of Hirbat Salim in Lebanon stored chemical weapons.
According to the report, Hezbollah operatives refused to give access to the Lebanese Armed Forces and to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for 24 hours after the explosion until experts from the Shiite militia removed trails of the chemical material.
The report, which is based on intelligence sources of European units acting in conjunction with UNIFIL, claims that Hezbollah received a number of air shipments from Iran, which arrived through airports in Syria and carried thousands of gas masks, chemical and biological warfare equipment and warning devices for weapons of mass destruction.
The sources passed their reports to a number of capitals in the European Union, as well as to the headquarters of NATO in Brussels, in which they claimed Hezbollah constructed a number of warehouses that contained chemical weapons since last December.
The alleged caches were spread out in the Lebanon Valley, the Beirut-Damascus route in the center of the country and on both sides of the Litani River, especially around Tyre, outside of the UNIFIL forces deployment area.
The same sources added that although Hezbollah operatives attempted to remove all the remains of chemical materials, in an investigations that began shortly after the explosion in Hirbat Salim, traces of chemical leaks were detected.
At least eight Hezbollah militants were killed during the explosion, and others were injured and taken to near hospitals in Tyre and south Lebanon according to the report.