[QODLink]
Middle East
Nasrallah decries 'propaganda'
Hezbollah chief denies reports of link to drug traffickers and poisoning attempt.
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2008 17:32 GMT
Nasrallah, left, rarely appears in public because of concerns over his safety [EPA]

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
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.