Al-Qaida-Hezbollah joint effort unlikely

Monday, July 8, 2002

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Religious differences between Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network and the militant Hezbollah group make an alliance between the two unlikely, a senior Shiite Muslim cleric said in remarks published Sunday.

Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah described U.S. media reports accusing Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite Muslim organization, of assisting al-Qaida, a Sunni Muslim group, as "unreasonable."

He was commenting on a Washington Post report last week that claimed al-Qaida was forging an alliance with Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group.

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