Salafist sheikh injured in clash with Lebanon army

Salafist sheikh injured in clash with Lebanon army
Mon Jun 24, 2013 13:40:32

Firebrand Salafist sheikh Ahmed al-Assir has reportedly been wounded in clashes with the Lebanese army in the country’s south.

According to the Lebanese news website,, Assir was seriously hurt in a conflict with the army troops as Lebanese forces in the city of Sidon surrounded the mosque where Assir's radical followers were based.

Clashes broke out on Sunday after security forces detained a follower of the Salafi sheikh. His supporters retaliated by opening fire on an army checkpoint.

Security sources put the army death toll at 15, with 60 wounded. They said at least two gunmen were also killed in the clashes.

"The army has tried for months to keep Lebanon away from the problems of Syria, and it ignored repeated requests for it to clamp down on Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir's group," the military command said in a statement on Sunday.

“But what has happened today has gone beyond all expectations. The army was attacked in cold blood in an attempt to light the fuse in Sidon, just as was done in 1975," it said, referring to the year that Lebanon's own civil war began.

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