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Hezbollah holds funeral for Lebanese militants

Mideast Lebanon Prisoner Swap
A Shiite cleric prays over the coffins of eight militant fighters during a funeral service in Beirut on Friday. The bodies were returned in a prisoners swap with Israel. Darko Bandic / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah held a funeral on Friday for eight guerrillas killed during its 2006 war with Israel. Their bodies were returned in a prisoners swap this week.

Thousands of Hezbollah supporters attended the service in Beirut's southern suburbs.

Hezbollah's Executive Council chief, Hashem Safieddine, said the eight men defeated Israel twice, once during the war in 2006 and now by returning home. He spoke in front of their coffins, which were covered with Hezbollah's yellow flags.

The bodies were to be taken later to the dead men's hometowns.

Israel released five Lebanese prisoners and the remains of almost 200 guerrillas in return for the bodies of two soldiers whose capture triggered the 34-day war.