Hezbollah official says group does not know anything about attack on Rushdie

Author Salman Rushdie is transported to a helicopter after he was stabbed at the Chautauqua Institution
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BEIRUT (Reuters) -An official from Iran-backed Lebanese armed group Hezbollah said on Saturday the group had no additional information on the stabbing attack against novelist Salman Rushdie.

“We don’t know anything about this subject so we will not comment,” the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Hezbollah is backed by Iran, whose previous supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in 1988 pronounced a fatwa, or religious edict, calling upon Muslims to kill Rushdie for blasphemy.

The suspected attacker was identified by police as 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey. Matar is originally Lebanese and his family hails from the south Lebanon town of Yaroun, Yaroun mayor Ali Tehfe told Reuters.

Tehfe said the parents emigrated to the United States and Matar was born and raised there.

When asked if Matar or his parents were affiliated with or supported Hezbollah, Tehfe said he had "no information at all" on the political views of the parents or Matar as they lived abroad.

(Reporting by Maya Gebeily;Editing by Alison Williams)