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The Lebanese army has said it had captured members of a terrorist network working for the Israeli Mossad .
One a suspect of the terrorist network had confessed to his role in assassinating Hezbollah and Palestinian officials.
Last Saturday, the Lebanese army said it had arrested Mahmoud Rafeh (photo,left), a 59-year-old Lebanese citizen and retired police officer, for a May 26 car bombing that killed Mahmoud Majzoub, a senior Islamic Jihad official, and his brother in front of their home in the southern city of Sidon.
Rafeh "had links to Israeli intelligence," a statement said. Rafeh was part of a "terror network working for the Israeli Mossad," and its members took "training courses in and outside Israel," the statement said.
An Nahar newspaper reported that Rafeh had been working for the Mossad since 1994. It said the army found in his house forged Lebanese papers that female Mossad agents used to enter the country as the alleged wives of the ring members.
Israeli intelligence agents stayed at the flat Rafeh had rented in Sidon near the residence of the Majzoub brothers to monitor their movements, the paper said.
On Tuesday, the army said that Rafeh had confessed to his role in killing:
The ring smuggled the booby-trapped door of the Mercedes car that killed the Majzoub brothers from Israel, the army said.
Investigators found Israeli computers, cameras, ammunition, military uniforms and forged identity cards in ring members' hideouts, it added.
Lebanese army shows a picture of the Mossad documents and equipment captured
An investigation was underway to arrest remaining collaborators, it concluded.
A manhunt is currently underway to catch another suspect whom it identified as Hussein Khattab, a Palestinian official in the PFLP-GC.
Lebanese police and the security apparatus of the PFLP-GC had believed he was involved in Jibril's murder but he was later cleared of the crime, the paper said.
Six ring members have already been arrested and another two are believed to have fled to Israel, An Nahar added.
President Emile Lahoud praised Lebanese forces for breaking up the terrorist network, saying "solidarity is the real power that can stand in the face of Israel and prevent sectarian conflicts," according to a statement released by his office.
Hezbollah's deputy leader, Sheikh Naim Qassem, called the arrest and confession "a message" to all Lebanese that their country was not immune from "direct Israeli influence" -- despite Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.
"Israel still sees Lebanon as a field to achieve political and future gains," Kassem told Hezbollah's Al Manar television late Tuesday.
Many people have previously been arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of spying for Israel.
In 2004, a Tunisian woman of Palestinian origin and four accomplices were indicted on charges of plotting with Israel to assassinate Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
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