Hizbullah commander, indicted in assassination of Lebanon’s Hariri, killed in blast

Special to WorldTribune.com

Hizbullah’s military commander, a main suspect in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Syria, Arab media reported on May 12.

Mustafa Badr al-Din died after what was called “a major explosion” at a Hizbullah facility near the Damascus airport. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officials have not responded to the reports, but Hizbullah confirmed al-Din’s death on May 13.

Mustafa Badr al-Din. /Hizbullah media relations
Mustafa Badr al-Din. /Hizbullah media relations

Badr al-Din was considered the successor of Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was assassinated in 2008, also allegedly by Israel.

Badr al-Din was named by the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon as the key suspect in the 2005 murder of Hariri.

The elimination of Badr al-Din comes after senior Hizbullah terrorist Samir Kuntar was killed last December in Syria.

Kuntar murdered two members of an Israeli family and a policeman in the northern Israeli city of Nahariya in 1979, crushing a four-year-old child’s head with the butt of his rifle after murdering her father in front of her. Her two-year-old sister died when the mother, hiding in a crawl space, accidentally smothered her while trying to prevent her cries from being heard.

Kuntar was released in 2008 as part of a prisoner swap between Israel and Hizbullah.