Israeli army takes aim at Hezbollah rifle claim

AP News
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Posted: Oct 18, 2010 10:30 AM
Israeli army takes aim at Hezbollah rifle claim

The Israeli military is taking aim at a new claim by Hezbollah's leader.

Hassan Nasrallah last week presented what he said was an Israeli rifle to visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Nasrallah said the weapon, placed in a felt-lined box with a row of bullets, was captured during the guerrilla group's 2006 war with Israel.

But Israeli military spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich said Sunday the gun appears to be an assault rifle that Israel hasn't used since 1974 _ meaning it likely wasn't captured during the war.

Israel's Yediot Ahronot daily quoted military sources as saying the rifle model was used by Israeli-backed militiamen during the 15-year war in Lebanon that ended in 1990.