Al Qaeda group in Lebanon vows to strike at Iran

Iranian Minister of Foreign Affaris Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks to journalists at Rafic Hariri International airport in Beirut on January 12, 2014 upon his arrival for a one day visit to Lebanon to "meet Lebanese officials and discuss the inquiry into the attack on Iran's embassy and the Majid al-Majid issue," a ministry source said. ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images

BEIRUT -- An al Qaeda-linked group that has carried out attacks across the Middle East has vowed to target Iran and Hezbollah following the death of its leader in Lebanon.

Majid al-Majid was arrested by the Lebanese army last month and authorities said he later died at a military hospital in Beirut from chronic illness.

A statement issued by the Abdullah Azzam Brigades accused Hezbollah of killing al-Majid, saying his condition worsened in detention. It did not elaborate, but extremist Sunnis in Lebanon have accused the army of being complicit with the Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim group.

The statement posted on Twitter Tuesday said al-Majid, a Saudi citizen, passed away after years of cultivating men capable of carrying on his project, adding that attacks will continue after his death.

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for bombing the Iranian embassy in Beirut two months ago.

CBS News correspondent Clarissa Ward, reporting from Beirut in November, noted that there is a struggle for regional power between the two main branches of Islam. Iran and Hezbollah are Shiite, which makes them natural allies to the Assad regime in Syria, which is fighting a Sunni rebellion that is being funded by oil-rich Sunni countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia. She also said that Lebanon fought its own brutal civil war for 15 long years that ended in 1990 and that nobody wants to see that happen again.

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