Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 11:38 UK

Hezbollah says it shot helicopter

Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader in Lebanon
Nasrallah said the shooting of the helicopter was a mistake

The leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon has acknowledged that his group was responsible for the shooting down last week of a Lebanese army helicopter.

Hassan Nasrallah said the shooting was a mistake. A Hezbollah fighter opened fire after being taken by surprise when the aircraft landed nearby.

Hezbollah, a militant and political group, has faced widespread criticism over the shooting.

One of the pilots was killed and the helicopter was forced to crash-land.

Hassan Nasrallah said the man who shot at the helicopter was an "honourable resistor", and had asked to be handed over to the Lebanese judicial authorities.

Hezbollah says it is co-operating fully with the investigation into the incident.

Hezbollah's continued deployment in southern Lebanon and its holding on to its weapons are highly controversial issues.

The movement is militarily far stronger than the Lebanese national army.

But a policy statement by Lebanon's national unity government recognises Hezbollah's right to use all means possible to "liberate" Lebanese land that Lebanon says is occupied by Israel.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific