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Hezbollah leader Nasrallah makes rare appearance

BEIRUT - Hezbollah's leader has made his first public appearance in years at a Beirut rally to mark the Muslim holy day of Ashoura.

Sheik Hassan Nasrallah rarely appears in public for fear of assassination by Israel.

Tuesday's speech was Nasrallah's first public address since 2006. Since then, he has appeared briefly in public several times but has not made public speeches.

Nasrallah walked through a throng of people in a southern Shiite stronghold in Beirut and greeted the crowd from the podium, saying his appearance was a message to those who believe they can "threaten us."

Ashoura marks the anniversary of the death in the seventh century of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Imam Hussein.

The holy day was marked around the Shiite Muslim world, and as is often the case it was marred in Afghanistan by devastating sectarian violence.

More than 50 people were killed by a series of attacks on Shiite worshipers across the country, including a massive suicide bombing at a shrine in the heart of Kabul which left at least 48 dead.

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