Army Intelligence Tasked with Interrogating Sidon Fighting Suspects

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr tasked the Lebanese army intelligence on Tuesday with investigating the deadly clashes in the southern city of Sidon.

Saqr also gave the military intelligence command the right to question suspects whose number, according to the state-run National News Agency, has reached 40.

The two-days of clashes took place between the army and followers of Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir.

The gunbattles that left at least 17 soldiers dead erupted after an army checkpoint arrested one of the cleric's followers.

On Monday, Saqr issued search and investigation warrants against al-Asir and 123 others including his brother and singer-turned Salafist Fadel Shaker.

The armed men used machineguns and Rocket Propelled Grenades in their assault on the army. Snipers allied with al-Asir also took over rooftops, terrorizing civilians.

The army helped many residents to evacuate from the heavily populated neighborhood of Abra around al-Asir's Bilal bin Rabah Mosque.

Saqr visited the area on Tuesday similar to other separate visits made by Army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji and caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel.

After soldiers took over the mosque compound where the fighting had been concentrated on Monday, TV footage showed large amounts of arms and ammunition stashed in the basement.

Despite the arrest of 40 of his followers, there was no sign of Asir, a 45-year-old who supports the overwhelmingly Sunni rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Few had heard of him until last year, when he began agitating for Hizbullah to disarm.

Comments 1
Thumb LebCynic 25 June 2013, 14:17

I hope that slow and painful justice will be served to these animals.