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Hezbollah vows to block arrests over Hariri killing

A Lebanese man shouts for help for a wounded man near the site of a car bomb explosion in Beirut February 14, 2005. A massive car bomb killed Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri on Beirut's waterfront, witnesses and security sources said. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Hezbollah will not allow the arrest of any of its members if the inquiry into the 2005 killing of Lebanese statesman Rafik al-Hariri indicts them, the group’s leader leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Thursday.

“Mistaken (are those) who think that we will allow the arrest or the detention of any of our fighters,” he told supporters in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Hezbollah’s stronghold.

“Any hand that will touch any of them will be cut off,” he said to a cheering crowd.

Hezbollah and western diplomats say that the U.N.-backed tribunal investigating the killing of Hariri is expected to indict members of the group by end of the year. Tension has escalated in Lebanon over the tribunal in the past few months.