Lebanese Hezbollah rejects Britain's move to ban it

Photo: ezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, center, escorted by his bodyguards


BEIRUT: Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group has strongly rejected the British government's move to ban it as a terrorist organization. 

 Hezbollah said in a statement on Friday that the decision is an "insult to the feelings, emotions and will of the Lebanese people'' and stressed that the Shite group is a political force with representatives in the Lebanese parliament and government. 

The statement was the first comment by the Iran-backed group on Britain's move earlier this week to ban Hezbollah as a terrorist group, accusing it of destabilizing the Middle East. 

 Subject to the British Parliament's approval, the draft order will go into effect on Monday.

 Hezbollah said the decision was proof that the British government is "merely a puppet'' that does the bidding of its American "masters.''
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