Britain formally launches bid to label Hezbollah's military wing a terrorist organization

Two officials say Britain has launched a bid to formally have the European Union declare the Lebanese party Hezbollah's military wing a terrorist organization.

That move would slap sanctions such as travel bans and asset freezes on the group's members. The designation requires unanimity by the EU's 27 member nations.

A British Foreign Office official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, said the matter would be discussed within the next two weeks.

The official said Wednesday the move was fueled by findings indicating the organization was responsible for a terrorist bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian.

A diplomat from a prominent EU nation said it would be discussed next month. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity pending an official announcement.


Associated Press writer Paisley Dodds contributed to this story from London.