The Lebanese army has confiscated arms belonging to Hezbollah in
accordance with a U.N. truce resolution, Lebanese Defense Minister
Elias Murr said for the first time on Tuesday.

Asked about unconfirmed media reports about the confiscation of an unspecified number of Hezbollah arms, Murr said: "There were reports in the media about the confiscation of weapons, these reports were true."

It was the first Lebanese official confirmation of a confiscation of Hezbollah weapons.

However, Murr declined to give details about how many weapons had been confiscated and was vague when describing the army's role in disarming the fighters.

"We are carrying out our duties and our role as we should. It is natural and it is our duty to confiscate all the weapons," he told reporters.

"The army has two roles: to defend the borders and deprive the enemy from any justification to return" to southern Lebanon, he said.

"What we can confirm is that the Resistance (Hezbollah) is cooperating by preventing any armed presence," he said.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which led to the August 14 truce that ended a month of warfare between Israel and Hezbollah, calls for the disarmament of all groups in Lebanon.

The Resolution also called for the implementation of previous Security Council resolutions which stated that "there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state."

Since the ceasefire, Hezbollah fighters have kept out of uniform, with their weapons out of sight.

Hezbollah has agreed that the Lebanese army can take possession of any arm "found" in the area, but the group's chief, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, said last month that his fighters will keep their arms but use them only in the event of war with Israel.