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Protect Shia shrines from IS jihadists in latest Hizballah video game Open in fullscreen

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Protect Shia shrines from IS jihadists in latest Hizballah video game

Hizballah has sent thousands of troops to shore up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad [HolyDefence]

Date of publication: 21 February, 2018

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Protect Shia shrines from a horde of invading Sunni extremists - a new Hizballah video game puts players on the front line against the Islamic State group.

Protect Shia shrines from a horde of invading Sunni extremists is a new Hizballah video game that puts players on the front line against the Islamic State group.

"Holy Defence" is the latest Hizballah-inspired shooter based on the Lebanese militant group's recent battles against the jihadist group in Syria and at home.

"This is not just a game, it is a simulation aimed at documenting a period of holy defence against 'takfiri' expansion and the American-Zionist project," the game's website explains, using a different term for jihadists.

"It is a tool to confront this savage culture… and honour the martyrs and their families," it adds.

Launched this month by pro-Hizballah publisher Dar al-Manar, players of the game in one mission take on the role of a fighter repelling an offensive against the Sayeda Zeinab shrine near Damascus.

In another level, gamers have to prevent IS suicide bombers from infiltrating Lebanese border villages from neighbouring Syria.

Hizballah and other Iranian-backed Shia forces have sent thousands of troops to shore up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his war against rebel groups and IS.

Lebanon shares a border with war-torn Syria, and jihadist factions including IS had entrenched themselves in the hilly territory along the frontier.

Last year, operations by Lebanese troops and Hizballah pushed them back from the border.

IS, which considers Shias to be heretics, has frequently targeted shrines of the minority Islamic sect.

This is not the first Hizballah computer game to hit shelves.

In 2003, the movement released "Special Force", pitting players against the Israeli military.

It then released "Special Force 2" in 2007 - a reenactment of the 34-day war against Israel in which more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 120 Israelis, the majority soldiers, died.

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