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Hizballah Leader Makes Rare Public Appearance

A TV grab shows Hizballah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah delivering a speech in southern Beirut on December 6.
The leader of Lebanon's Shi'ite militant group Hizballah has made his first public appearance in years at a Beirut rally.

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah rarely appears in public for fear of assassination by Israel.

The speech in Hizballah's stronghold in southern Beirut was Nasrallah's first public address since 2006.

Since then, he has appeared briefly in public several times but has not made public speeches.

Nasrallah spoke to a crowd of supporters for a few minutes on the occasion of the Shi'ite festival of Ashura.

Hizballah fought a war with Israel in 2006 that left much of southern Lebanon in ruins.

compiled from agency reports