Europe

Germany designates Hezbollah as terrorist group, conducts raids on suspects

Issued on: 30/04/2020 – 07:47Modified: 30/04/2020 – 07:47

Germany has banned Iran-backed Hezbollah activity on its soil and designated it a terrorist organisation, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

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Police conducted early morning raids in Germany to detain suspected members of the group. Security officials believe up to 1,050 people in Germany are part of Hezbollah's extremist wing.

"Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has banned the Shiite terrorist organisation Hezbollah in Germany," tweeted a ministry spokesman.

"Even in times of crisis, the rule of law is capable of acting," he added.

Germany had previously distinguished between Hezbollah's political arm and its military units, which have fought alongside President Bashar al-Assad's army in Syria.

Israel and the United States had been pushing Germany to ban the organisation.

German parliament had also urged ban

Last December, Germany's parliament approved a motion urging Chancellor Angela Merkel's government to ban all activities by Hezbollah on German soil, citing its "terrorist activities" especially in Syria.

A heavily armed Shiite Islamist group already designated a terrorist organisation by the UniteRead More – Source