Gunmen Kill Hezbollah Member in Southern Lebanon

BEIRUT (AP) -
A U.N peacekeepers of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) walks near a poster depicting Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in Adaisseh, Lebanon. (Reuters/Ali Hashisho)

Unknown gunmen fatally shot and stabbed a member of the Hezbollah terror group in southern Lebanon and an investigation was launched, Lebanese security officials said Sunday.

The body of Ali Mohammed Younes was found next to his car Saturday evening near the southern town of Nabatiyeh, said two security officials. One of them said Younes was shot with four bullets in the chest and had at least two stab wounds.

The motive behind the killing was not immediately clear, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said a suspect was detained shortly afterward Saturday.

Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency described Younes as a commander with the Iran-backed Hezbollah. It added that Younes was involved in anti-espionage missions.

Fars also posted a photo said to be of Younes in blue jeans and bloodied white shirt next to his car.

Iran-backed Hezbollah is Lebanon’s strongest military force and a political powerhouse, and also boasts significant organizational and services might in the country.

There was no official comment from Hezbollah on the killing. A source in the organization confirmed Younes was a member, but would not provide further details.

Hezbollah has fought in neighboring Syria’s civil war to back the Iranian-allied government in Damascus. Hezbollah is also bitter enemies with Israel, and the two sides fought to a stalemate in a monthlong war in 2006.