The Hizbullah terrorist organization has issued a denial that the group’s 52-year-old leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, has cancer.
The denial came in a report published Tuesday in the Lebanese French daily L’Orient Le Jour.
The group announced via its media outlet, the Al-Manar television network, that Nasrallah would broadcast an address to his followers on Wednesday to blunt the reports.
The Turkish Anatolia News Agency reported Tuesday that Nasrallah had been admitted to a private hospital in Beirut and later flown to Tehran, where he is being treated for cancer. The report cited “knowledgeable sources affiliated with Hizbullah” and followed a flurry of others over a 24 hour period in Lebanon.
All reports said Hizbullah’s secretary-general was ill and had been flown to a hospital in Iran for treatment.
One Jordanian news website raised the possibility on Monday that Nasrallah had been injured by shelling from the Free Syrian Army during clashes with forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.
But a Hizbullah official denied all reports that Nasrallah might be injured or in ill health in an interview on Tuesday with the Al-Mayadeen satellite television network.
The initial claim came Monday in a report broadcast on Radio Sawt Beirut International. The report cited unidentified sources who said Nasrallah had flown to Tehran on Sunday aboard “an Iranian presidential plane.” The unconfirmed Lebanese radio report, which was linked to opposition sources, said Nasrallah’s health has deteriorated, and was recently diagnosed with cancer.