Beirut: The leader of Hezbollah made a rare public appearance Monday at a rally in Beirut, calling for sustained protests against a film deemed offensive to Islam that already has provoked a week of unrest in Muslim countries worldwide.
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has rarely been seen in public since his Shiite Muslim group battled Israel in a month-long war in 2006, fearing Israeli assassination. Since then, he has communicated with his followers and gives news conference mostly via satellite link.
Today, Nasrallah spoke for about 15 minutes before tens of thousands of cheering supporters, many of them with green and yellow headbands around their foreheads, the colours of Hezbollah.
Nasrallah last appeared in public in December 2011 to mark the Shiite holy day of Ashoura. But he spoke only briefly and did not give a full speech.
He has called for a series of demonstrations this week to denounce the video.