Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

Middle east

Leading Shiite cleric Fadlallah dies at age 75

Video by Kathryn STAPLEY

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-07-04

Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanon's leading Shiite cleric, died in Beirut on Sunday aged 75. Revered by the Shiite faithful, Fadlallah was once the spiritual guide of the militant group Hezbollah and branded a terrorist by the United States.

AFP - Lebanon's leading Shiite cleric Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, branded a "terrorist" by Washington and once regarded as Hezbollah's spiritual guide, died on Sunday aged 75, an aide told AFP.
   
Fadlallah died in a Beirut hospital where he was admitted on Friday for internal bleeding.
   
"Yes, Sayyed Fadlallah has died," a senior aide told AFP when asked to confirm reports that the top cleric, with followers mainly in Lebanon and Iraq, had passed away.
   
Fadlallah, who holds the title "sayyed" to denote direct lineage with the Prophet Mohammad, had been hospitalised several times over the past months. On Friday he was admitted to intensive care as his health deteriorated.
   
An AFP correspondent said all roads leading to Bahman hospital in Beirut's southern suburbs, where Fadlallah died, were closed to traffic as relatives of the cleric converged on the area.
   
Family members also began to receive condolences in the nearby Hassanein mosque, the correspondent added.
   
Hezbollah television, Manar, ran breaking news to announce Fadlallah's death and report that his media office will hold a news conference at 11:30 am (0830 GMT) to provide details on funeral arrangements.
   
Revered by the Shiite faithful, Fadlallah, who also holds the rank of "Grand Ayatollah" was born in 1935 in the Iraqi Shiite holy city of Najaf, where his parents emigrated from Lebanon to study theology.
   
He rose in the ranks of Lebanon's Shiite community decades ago and was considered the spiritual guide of militant group Hezbollah when it was founded in 1982 with the support of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard.
   
Fadlallah gained political leverage during Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war, but his ties to Hezbollah strained as the war progressed and he distanced himself from the party's ideological ties to Iran.
   
He nonetheless remained an advocate of suicide attacks as a means of fighting Israel, last year issuing a fatwa, or religious decree, forbidding the normalisation of ties with the Jewish state.
   
Along with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, Fadlallah is blacklisted as a terrorist by the United States.

Date created : 2010-07-04

COMMENT(S)