More than 700 Islamic militants from Somalia travelled to Lebanon in July to fight alongside Hezbollah in its war against Israel, a confidential UN report says.
The report, seen by The New York Times, says the militia in Lebanon returned the favour by providing training and – through its patrons Iran and Syria – weapons to the Islamic alliance struggling for control of Somalia.
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The paper said the report appears to be the first indication that foreign fighters assisted Hezbollah during the 34-day conflict, when Israel maintained a tight blockade on Lebanon.
The report also says Iran sought to trade arms for uranium from Somalia to further its nuclear ambitions, though it does not say whether Iran succeeded.
The report says Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt and the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon are providing arms, training and financing to Islamic militants as they seize political and military control in Somalia.