BEIRUT – Hezbollah supporters used mosque loudspeakers Thursday to rally crowds ahead of a trip by Iran’s president to southern Lebanon near the border with Israel, a visit the U.S. and Israel have called intentionally provocative. 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Lebanon on Wednesday to a rapturous welcome organized by Hezbollah. His country is the main patron of the Shiite militant group, the most powerful military force in Lebanon.
On Thursday, Ahmadinejad is scheduled to make a trip to the Shiite heartland in the south and the Israeli border, which will emphasize Iran’s support for Hezbollah’s fight with Israel.
Residents of southern Lebanese villages were heading to Bint Jbeil, a border village that was bombed during the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah war, to greet the Iranian president Thursday afternoon. The village, barely two and a half miles (four kilometers) from the border, is dubbed “the capital of resistance” because it was a center for Hezbollah guerrilla action against Israel during the Jewish state’s 18-year occupation of the south, which ended in 2000.

-Associated Press