Hizbollah banned over 'Iraq terrorism'

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Prime Minister Gordon Brown today said Hizbollah's military wing has been added to the list of banned terrorist organisations because of new evidence linking it to activities in Iraq and the occupied Palestinian territories.

At Commons question time he said the proscription would not extend to the political and social activities of the Lebanese party.

"We continue to call on Hizbollah to end its status as an armed group and to participate in the Lebanese democratic process and to do so on the same terms as other political parties," he told MPs.

Labour's Gordon Banks (Ochil and S Perthshire) asked Mr Brown what more he could do to "make sure extremism does not derail" the Middle East peace process.

Mr Brown said: "We have today laid an order extending proscription to cover Hizbollah's entire military wing on the sole grounds of new evidence of its involvement in terrorism in Iraq and in the occupied Palestinian territories.

"Proscription will not effect Hizbollah's legitimate political and social wings."

The announcement came against a backdrop of further bloodshed in Jerusalem, where a Palestinian terrorist drove a bulldozer into a bus and several cars before being shot dead by Israeli security forces.