Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lebanon: 12 dead in Lebanon as Sunnis fight with soldiers

To be fair, the Sunnis wanted to fight with Hezbollah but the soldiers got in the way.
BEIRUT, Lebanon (NYT) — Clashes raged on Sunday in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon between the army and the followers of a hard-line Sunni Muslim sheik, paralyzing traffic on a main highway and leaving at least 12 people dead.

The violence on Sunday, which continued into the night, reflected how deeply the civil war in neighboring Syria has undermined security in Lebanon, many of whose citizens still carry bitter memories of their country’s own 15-year civil war. Sidon, a Mediterranean port, is a mostly Sunni city whose population largely sympathizes with the Sunni-led insurgency in Syria.

The clashes in Sidon pitted the Lebanese Army against the armed followers of Sheik Ahmad al-Assir, who has earned national fame through a series of stunts in the news media and public calls for the disarming of the Shiite group Hezbollah, Lebanon’s strongest military force, which has been fighting in Syria on the side of the government of President Bashar al-Assad.