US accuses Lebanon's Hezbollah of weapons buildup

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US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Wednesday accused Lebanon's Hezbollah of amassing weapons and said the world must turn its attention to the actions of the powerful paramilitary organization.

Haley met with UN envoy for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag ahead of a Security Council meeting Thursday focussing on the UN peacekeeping force deployed in southern Lebanon.

"Ambassador Haley expressed alarm over the build-up of weapons by Hezbollah, a situation that demands the international community's attention to prevent the further escalation of regional tensions," said a statement by the US mission.

She stressed that the international community must "apply more pressure on Hezbollah to disarm and cease its destabilizing behavior, especially toward Isr

ael."

Haley has been a strong supporter of Israel, which fought a month-long war against Hezbollah in 2006. The fighting killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

There has been speculation about the possibility of a new war between Israel and Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese paramilitary organization, more than a decade after their last direct confrontation.

There have been periodic skirmishes along the UN-monitored demarcation line between Israel and Lebanon, longtime adversaries which are technically still at war with each other.

Haley said the UNIFIL mission must be "fully engaged in addressing the threat posed by Hezbollah."

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