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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 September, 2004, 22:39 GMT 23:39 UK
Hezbollah rejects disarmament call
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah said the Security Council did not care about Lebanon
The leader of the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah has rejected a United Nations resolution calling for the organisation to be dismantled.

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said the UN Security Council proposal was an Israeli "trap".

He added that the disarmament of Hezbollah would weaken Lebanon.

He also defended the presence of Syrian forces in Lebanon, saying the troops had helped the country to consolidate security after its civil war.

"We don't want a withdrawal of Syrian forces at this time," Mr Nasrallah told a Hezbollah rally in his south Beirut stronghold.

Earlier this week, the Security Council called for all foreign forces to leave Lebanon and the disarmament of militias.

It also called for greater respect by external powers for Lebanese sovereignty.

Hezbollah, an Islamic group, fought a guerrilla war against Israel's 18-year occupation of a border zone in southern Lebanon, which ended in 2000 with the withdrawal of the Israeli troops.

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