Nasrallah: Hizbollah Fighters Captured Israeli Colonel
Hizbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah announced in Beirut Sunday that his fighters captured an Israeli colonel.
"The Islamic resistance has succeeded in taking prisoner an Israeli officer with the rank of colonel in a complex operation whose details will be given later," he said.
Nasrallah was speaking at the opening of a congress of "Arab national and patriotic forces" in support of the Palestinian revolt against the Israelis.
He gave no further details of the alleged capture, but Hizbollah's al-Manar television channel said Sunday that it happened "this morning."
On October 7, Hizbollah snatched three Israeli non-commissioned officers in an ambush in the disputed Shabaa Farms area captured by Israeli from Syria in 1967 but claimed by Lebanon.
In the meantime, the Israeli army said it was trying to verify the claim.
"We are checking, but we have no reports at the moment about a possible abduction," an Israeli army spokesman told AFP.
Nasrallah said Thursday that Israel must free all Arab prisoners it holds to obtain the release of the three soldiers.
In an interview with Qatar's Al-Jazeera television, he demanded Israel's release of "all prisoners -- Palestinians, Lebanese, Arabs and, possibly, Iranians -- as well as the return of all our fighters listed as missing and the return of the remains of those fallen in combat".
Contacts were continuing "with different parties" to arrange an exchange for the soldiers, he said, without giving details.
Hizbollah played a key role in Israel's decision to pull out of southern Lebanon in May after 22 years, but says it will not consider the occupation is over until the Shebaa Farms are handed over and 19 Lebanese held in Israeli prisons released – (AFP)
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