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Britain to ban Hezbollah under anti-terror laws

AFP  |  London 

Britain on Monday said it will ban the political wing of Hezbollah, making membership of the movement or inviting support for it a crime.

The decision follows outrage over the display of the flag, which features a assault rifle, at pro-Palestinian demonstrations in

"is continuing in its attempts to destabilise the fragile situation in the Middle East," said in a statement.

"We are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety," he said.

The ban is subject to a vote in parliament this week.

is a Shiite militant movement established in 1982 during the Lebanese civil war.

Its capture of two Israeli soldiers in 2006 sparked a 34-day war in which 1,200 people were killed.

The movement, now a major political party in Lebanon, holds three cabinet posts.

"It is clear the distinction between Hezbollah's military and political wings does not exist," said in Monday's statement.

"This does not change our ongoing commitment to Lebanon, with whom we have a broad and strong relationship," he said.

The government is also banning Ansarul Islam, a group which emerged near the border between and in 2016, and the Group to Support and Muslims (JNIM), which has sworn allegiance to in the Islamic Maghreb.

Britain currently has 74 international terrorist organisations proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 25 2019. 18:30 IST
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