Nasrallah refutes accusations linking Hezbollah to activist killing

Hezbollah chief warns Israel against intimidation after Israeli 'combat days' drills that took place earlier this month.

BEIRUT - Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday refuted accusations of any links between the group and the killing of researcher and activist Lokman Slim.

"Any incident that happens in your area then you are accused until the opposite is proven? Is this something that is practiced in the whole wide world? Where else is this logic present?" Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

Activist Lokman Slim was shot and found dead in his car in south Lebanon earlier in February, marking the first killing of a high-profile activist in years.

He was a critic of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group. His sister has suggested he was murdered because of those views.

Meanwhile, Nasrallah warned Israel on Tuesday against intimidation, alluding to Israeli combat drills that took place earlier this month, warning any attack would be reciprocated.

"We are not looking for a confrontation but we don't leave the blood of our martyrs. If a confrontation happens we will respond to it ... if you attack our cities we will attack yours," Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

The Israeli Defence Forces held large scale exercises along the northern border with Lebanon on Feb. 9-10.

They said at the time the exercise would examine lessons learnt from operational activities that took place along the Lebanese border over the summer and prepare troops for a variety of scenarios including readiness for "combat days".

"I want to also warn that these threats we are hearing in recent days - combat days and what not - I want to warn that this game of combat days is a dangerous one," Nasrallah said.

"No one can guarantee it would not lead to war."

Israel's air force also said on Monday it began a "surprise exercise" to improve combat readiness along the country's northern border to last until Wednesday.