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U.S. says not part of Hezbollah hit

The United States denied involvement in last week’s assassination of Hezbollah’s terrorist chief.

The director of U.S. intelligence, Mike McConnell, appeared on Fox News Sunday and was asked by host Chris Wallace whether America had a hand in a car bomb that killed Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus.

“No,” McConnell said. “Hezbollah has blamed Israel. But there’s some evidence that it may have been internal Hezbollah. It may have been Syria. We don’t know yet, and we’re trying to sort that out.”

McConnell said Israel and the United States should take seriously Hezbollah’s threat to avenge Mughniyeh’s death. But he also made clear that the Bush administration had good reason to welcome the departure of a man who spent a quarter of a century on U.S. Most Wanted lists.

Mughniyeh, he said, was “responsible for more deaths of Americans and Israelis than any other terrorist with the exception of Osama bin Laden.”

“There was a warrant for his arrest here in this country for a murder of a U.S. citizen. So this man over time had lots of enemies. Remember, he’s a Shia, and oftentimes his targets could be Sunni as well as against Israel and so on,” McConnell said.

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