Asir Supporters Block Sidon's Eastern Highway

Supporters of Islamist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir on Sunday rallied at the roundabout of Bahaeddine Hariri Mosque in Sidon, which blocked traffic on the city's eastern highway, state-run National News Agency reported.

The sit-in caused traffic jam on the seaside highway, amid the return of holidaymakers from the South, the agency noted.

Asir's supporters reopened the highway later on Sunday, LBCI television reported.

Demonstrators carried religious flags amid strict security measures by the army and the Internal Security Forces, NNA said.

The Islamist cleric “launched a vehement attack on Speaker Nabih Berri and Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah,” NNA said.

He urged the Lebanese army “not to facilitate the crossing of Hizbullah fighters into Syrian territory.”

Asir called on supporters to stage another sit-in at the roundabout after the Isha prayer and to rally on Friday after noon prayers outside the Hizbullah-affiliated al-Zahraa Complex in Sidon.

The protest was held under the slogan “Against the Weapons and Apartments of Strife.” Asir has accused Hizbullah of “renting apartments” in the vicinity of his mosque in the Sidon suburb of Abra with the aim of “monitoring” his movements.

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has hinted that the party will not tolerate the evacuation of any of its offices in Sidon and its suburbs.

“Thousands of Shiites have been residing in Sidon since hundreds of years, do they need a permission now? We were among those who fought to liberate Sidon and the South and we have offices, houses, mosques and complexes in Sidon since 30 years," Nasrallah said.

Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.