BEIRUT (AP) — The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah said Wednesday that one of its commanders has been "assassinated" outside of his home in southern Beirut, blaming Israel for his killing.
A statement issued by the group said Hussein al-Laqis was killed as he returned home from work around midnight. It did not say how he died.
Lebanese security officials said assailants opened fire on Al-Laqis with an assault rifle while he was in his car. He was in the parking lot of the residential building where he lived, in the Hadath neighborhood, some two miles (three kilometers) southwest of Beirut, they said.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital but died early Wednesday from his wounds, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
The statement accused Israel of being responsible for the killing. It said Israel tried to kill him several times, but had failed.
"The Israeli enemy is naturally directly to blame," the statement said. "This enemy must shoulder complete responsibility and repercussions for this ugly crime and its repeated targeting of leaders and cadres of the resistance."
Hezbollah, which has fought several wars against Israel, also has been fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces in that country's civil war, sparking attacks across neighboring Lebanon.
Al-Laqis, according to the statement, spent his entire life in the resistance from the time its inception until the last hours of his death. His son died fighting Israel in the monthlong 2006 war.
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