Syrian rebels say they killed Hezbollah deputy chief

Rebels claim Naim Qassem killed in bombing on Lebanon-Syria border; Hezbollah denies that he was injured.

Sheikh Naim Qassem 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Sheikh Naim Qassem 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hezbollah's deputy chief Naim Qassem was killed Tuesday when Syrian rebels bombed a convoy consisting of high-ranking Syrian government officers near the Lebanon border, news portal Now Lebanon quoted the Free Syria Army as saying on Wednesday.
“It has been confirmed... that Hezbollah’s number two man died after [receiving] a serious injury,” the Free Syria Army posted on its Twitter account.
Qassem has served as the deputy to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal quoted the Syrian rebels as saying mines placed on the Beirut-Damascus highway had detonated as the convoy returned from a high-level security meeting in Lebanon. The explosion reportedly took place near the town of Jdeidet Yabous near the Lebanon-Syria border.
The al-Mustaqbal report made no mention of Qassem being killed in the attack, saying that he had merely been injured, which Hezbollah later denied.
Nasarallah was scheduled to make a televised address on Wednesday evening after it had been reported Tuesday that he was ill and undergoing treatment in Iran.