France Expresses ‘Great Concern’ over Sidon Clashes

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France on Monday expressed “great concern” over the violence in the southern city of Sidon, condemning attacks against the military institution.

“France strongly condemns the attacks targeting the army that have resulted in the death or injury of several troops,” foreign ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said.

He added: “We support efforts made by President Michel Suleiman to safeguard security and draw an end to provocations whatever was their source.”

“We call on the political parties to work for civil peace and stability in the country.”

Sidon’s clashes between the army and supporters of Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir have resulted in the death of at least 16 troops.

The southern city’s clashes are one of the most intense bouts of violence in Lebanon linked to the conflict in Syria.

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