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Funeral Held For Senior Hizballah Militant Killed In Air Strike

Members of the Lebanese Shi'ite militant group Hizballah on December 21 attended the funeral of a senior militant, Samir Kantar, who was killed in an apparent air strike near the Syrian capital, Damascus, a day earlier. Hizballah leaders blamed Israel for carrying out the strike, in which eight other people died. Kantar had served nearly 30 years in an Israeli prison for killing an Israeli man and his 4-year-old daughter in 1979, but was released in 2008 in a prisoner swap. In the wake of Kantar's death, Israel and Lebanon briefly traded fire. (RFE/RL's Radio Farda)


A mourner holds a photo of Samir Kantar, a senior Hizballah militant, at his funeral in Beirut on December 21.
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A mourner holds a photo of Samir Kantar, a senior Hizballah militant, at his funeral in Beirut on December 21.

Members of Lebanon's militant Shi'ite Muslim movement Hizbollah carry Kantar's coffin. Eight other people were reported killed in the strike near Damascus on December 20.
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Members of Lebanon's militant Shi'ite Muslim movement Hizbollah carry Kantar's coffin. Eight other people were reported killed in the strike near Damascus on December 20.

Kantar was imprisoned in Israel for killing an Israeli man and his 4-year-old daughter in 1979 during a cross-border raid from Lebanon. He and four other Lebanese prisoners were released in 2008 in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers. Kantar received a hero's welcome when he returned to Lebanon.
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Kantar was imprisoned in Israel for killing an Israeli man and his 4-year-old daughter in 1979 during a cross-border raid from Lebanon. He and four other Lebanese prisoners were released in 2008 in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers. Kantar received a hero's welcome when he returned to Lebanon.

Hashem Safieddine (right), the head of the Hizballah Executive Council and a cousin of Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrollah, was among the mourners.
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Hashem Safieddine (right), the head of the Hizballah Executive Council and a cousin of Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrollah, was among the mourners.

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Since his release, Kantar was reported to have been involved in militant activities in the Syrian Golan Heights, bordering Israel.
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Since his release, Kantar was reported to have been involved in militant activities in the Syrian Golan Heights, bordering Israel.

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