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Published On: Mon, Sep 17th, 2012

Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollal leader, speaks at Beirut protest, Embassy destroys documents

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has made a rare public appearance to address tens of thousands of supporters who took to the streets of southern Beirut to denounce a film mocking Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

Hassan Nasrallah banner in Beirut photo/Bertramz

Monday’s address was only Nasrallah’s fifth public appearance in six years, and the first time he made a full speech in person to thousands of his supporters since 2008.

“O Prophet, we die for you, my soul and my blood are for you,” the leader of the powerful Shia movement said, urging the crowd to repeat the words after him for the whole world to hear.

“America must understand … the US must understand that releasing the entire film will have dangerous, very dangerous, repercussions around the world.

“It’s a very big protest – one of the biggest if not the biggest I have seen here,” said Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut. “Hassan Nasrallah himself showed up, joined the protests, took the podium and delivered a live speech.”

The Monday protest was intense and diplomats in the US Embassy were shredding and burning classified documents as a security precaution.

A State Department status report obtained Monday by The Associated Press said the Beirut embassy had “reviewed its emergency procedures and is beginning to destroy classified holdings.” It also said that local Lebanese employees were sent home early due to protests by the militant Shiite group Hezbollah.

In Washington, a State Department official said there was no imminent threat to the heavily fortified Beirut embassy, which is about an hour away from where the nearest demonstration is planned.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss security procedures, said the decision to “reduce classified holdings” was routine and made by embassy staff.

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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