Arab League Warns of Severity of Targeting Lebanese Armyإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Arab League condemned on Monday the attack against the Lebanese army by supporters of Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir in the southern city of Sidon on Sunday, calling on all Lebanese powers to exert efforts to avert strife.
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi warned of the “dangerousness of targeting the army,” demanding that the assailants be arrested and brought to justice.
“Supporting the army will help it perform its national duties seeing as it is the symbol of Lebanon's unity, security, and stability,” he said.
He also called on all political and religious leaderships to tackle the deteriorating security situation in Sidon in order to protect the people.
Sixteen soldiers have been killed in the clashes, the army said Monday, in violence tied to rising sectarian tensions fanned by the Syria conflict.
The fighting began on Sunday on the outskirts of Sidon and intensified on Monday.
The security cabinet pledged the military would fight until it "finishes with" al-Asir.
A military judge issued a warrant for the controversial cleric's arrest, a judicial source said.
The violence is among the worst in Lebanon since the start of the Syrian conflict, which has inflamed sectarian tensions in the country, particularly between Shiite supporters of the Damascus regime and Sunni backers of the uprising.