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Lebanon Again Rejects UN Calls to Disarm Hezbollah Militants

Lebanon has again rejected calls from the United Nations to disarm Shi'ite Hezbollah militants, saying it regards the group as a legitimate organization opposing the Israeli occupation of Arab lands.

In Beirut Thursday, Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said any differences between the government and Hezbollah would be settled through internal dialogue.

He spoke one day after the U.N. Security Council received a report saying Lebanon has not done enough to disarm militias in the country.

The report singled out the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah, which the United States has labeled a terrorist organization. It cited Hezbollah for a series of attacks on Israeli forces occupying a disputed area near the borders of Syria, Israel and Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Lebanese troops near the Syrian border remained deployed Thursday near Syrian-backed Palestinian militant bases, where gunmen shot and killed a civilian contractor on Tuesday.

Some information in this story provided by AFP.