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Nasrallah Escapes Assassination Bid
BEIRUT, 15 July 2006 — Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah declared “open war” against Israel yesterday after emerging unscathed from an Israeli airstrike on his home and office in the Lebanese capital.
“You wanted an open war, you will get an open war,” Nasrallah said in a defiant audio message after the evening raid, the latest salvo in an escalating Israeli air campaign against Lebanon over Hezbollah’s capture of two Israeli soldiers on Wednesday.
“It will be war at all levels... to Haifa, and beyond Haifa,” Nasrallah said, referring to Israel’s third largest city which commanders there said came under unprecedented rocket fire from Lebanon on Thursday.
An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to describe the evening airstrike as an assassination attempt against the45 -year-old Hezbollah chief. She would confirm only that “Hezbollah terror organization headquarters was targeted.” But Israeli television said that it was a calculated attempt against Nasrallah’s life carried out in response to specific intelligence on his whereabouts.
Hezbollah television said the strikes “destroyed the building that hosts Hezbollah’s secretariat general” and that Nasrallah’s house was hit. It was not immediately clear whether he had been in the targeted area.