10/13/2010, 00.00
LEBANON - IRAN
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Car of a pro-Hezbollah cleric explodes, as Ahmadinejad arrives in Beirut

There are no casualties or injuries, but the car was destroyed and all the windows of the house blown out. Yesterday, the imam defended Ahmadinejad. Many Lebanese oppose the Iranian president’s visit accusing him of "interference" and wanting to turn Lebanon into a "Iranian base" for war against Israel.

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The car of a pro-Hezbollah imam exploded this morning at dawn in front of his house in the north of the country, just hours after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Lebanon.

The explosion caused no victims, but the car of Sheikh Mustafa Malas is completely burnt and the windows of his house have been shattered.

The attack is a sign of opposition to the controversial Iranian president’s visit, accused by the Lebanese of wanting to drag the Middle East into a war against Israel by supporting Hezbollah positions.

Imam Malas is a member of the Council of Ulema (Koranic teachers) of Lebanon, made up of Sunnis and Shiites. He is a Sunni, but an open supporter of Hezbollah and the policy of Ahmadinejad and Iran, the protector of the radical and guerrilla movement.

Only yesterday, the imam had criticized "those who try to discredit the visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, giving it a confessional character."

Malas, who is imam at the mosque of Al Minieh, has been forbidden to preach, after protests by many Sunni faithful against his homilies, thought to be too favorable to Hezbollah.

This is Ahmadinejad's first visit to Lebanon since his first election in 2005 and will last two days. His program includes a visit to south Lebanon, the border with the State of Israel where Hezbollah continues its war against "the Zionist state."

Many Lebanese have spoken out against the visit of Iranian president accusing him of "interference" and wanting to turn Lebanon into an "Iranian base" against Israel.

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