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Nasrallah calls cleric’s execution a ‘crime’

leader of shiite

The leader of Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah has strongly condemned Saudi Arabia for executing prominent opposition Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

In a televised speech on Sunday, Hassan Nasrallah described al-Nimr as a brave martyr and holy warrior, who didn’t carry weapons or espouse armed conflict and was killed only for his criticism of the Al Saud ruling family. Celebratory gunfire rang out in central Beirut at the speech’s beginning and end.

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Nasrallah said the Saudis could not take any criticism, and thus they executed al-Nimr in what amounts to a “serious crime” that “cannot be taken lightly.”

Earlier, protesters gathered in Beirut at the Saudi Embassy and United Nations buildings to denounce the execution.

Audiences at the rallies and watching Nasrallah’s speech chanted: “Death to the house of Saud.”

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