Sousan Rejects Calls for Deserting Army, All Weapons on Domestic Scene amid Pro-Asir Abra Demo

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Sidon Mufti Sheikh Salim Sousan condemned on Friday the recent clashes in the southern city, demanding that the state assume its responsibilities in following through with the investigation in the unrest.

He said: “We reject the use of arms on the internal scene in Lebanon regardless of which side they belong to.”

“We also oppose call for soldiers to defect from the army,” he declared during the sermon of the Friday Muslim prayers that was held at the Zaatari mosque in Sidon.

“We condemn the assault on the army and the resulting deaths in the clashes that followed,” he told worshipers that included a number of officials, such as the head of the Mustaqbal bloc MP Fouad Saniora.

In an indirect reference to Hizbullah and its alleged participation in the city's recent clashes, Sousan said: “We condemn the raids and arrests carried out by some armed groups and hold the state responsible for this development.”

“Sidon is the capital of the South and it has offered martyrs, confronted the Israeli enemy, opened its pockets and home to the residents of the South” during the July 2006 war, he added.

“Sidon is a city of diversity. It is not one of sectarian and violence,” he said.

“Sidon abides by the law and its role as the symbol of the country's salvation should be restored,” demanded Sousan.

“I call on its residents to preserve the city and its national principles,” he stated.

The city has the right to know the whereabouts of the wounded and those arrested, and the numbers of those killed, he declared.

“In the name of the Sidon residents and Ulemas, we reject oppression and humiliation against the city by any side and we hold the state responsible for ensuring our rights otherwise protesters will take to the streets,” Sousan warned.

He also demand a transparent investigation in the video that showed soldiers abusing a man suspected of supporting Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir.

Soon after the prayers, supporters of al-Asir staged a demonstration in Sidon and Beirut's Tariq al-Jadideh neighborhood.

Some of the Sidon demonstrators attempted to enter the Bilal bin Rabah mosque where al-Asir was based, but they were prevented by the army that fired gunshots into the air in order to disperse the angry protesters.

Eighteen soldiers were killed and 50 were wounded in clashes between the army and armed supporters of al-Asir in Sidon on Sunday and Monday.

More than 20 of al-Asir's supporters were killed, according to a security official.

Dozens of them were also arrested, but there was no sign of the cleric.

The Ulemas accused on Wednesday Hizbullah fighters of taking part in the battles alongside the army, despite assertions by various officials that the army acted alone in combating the gunmen.

The army on Thursday handed over a group of soldiers accused of abusing a detainee to the military police for questioning, a military source and the state-run National News Agency said.

The move came after amateur video emerged showing a group of soldiers humiliating, beating and kicking a man suspected of supporting al-Asir.

Comments 8
Missing themadman 28 June 2013, 16:51

En ce temps de haine je pense qu'il est de plus en plus essentiel de tenir des propos d'union (comme celles du Mufti), de soutenir l’État et son armée, de rassurer les différentes communautés notamment sunnites et Alaouites.
La présence d'un parti politique assez populaire comme le HA en Syrie est anticonstitutionnelle et dégrade la relation entre les différentes communautés musulmanes Libanaises.
Il est donc essentiel de faire attention, de ne pas laisser apparaitre des mouvements armés comme celle de l'Assir. Il est urgent de se retenir, de faire confiance à l'armée; Ainsi le rôle de l'armée doit être déterminant, sans distinction, contre la présence armée quelle qu'elles soient!
Merci aux blogueurs de ce site d’arrêter les propos de haine quotidiens, de comprendre qu'on est obligé nous Libanais de vivre ensemble, de se respecter, de respecter la différence de points de vue.

Missing allouchi 28 June 2013, 18:40

To the blind haters of Sunnis...The truth of the matter is that a big section of our countrymen feel marginalized not because of what happened to Assir but because of Hizb illegal arms and control over our institutions and the our government has nothing to do with Wahabism, Salafism and all what some of pathetic narrow minded M8rs try to project..this is the simple truth...

Missing helicopter 29 June 2013, 04:37

Very true and may i add that all moderate groups/sects opposing Hezb are marginalized, not only thee Sunnis.

Missing --karim_m1 28 June 2013, 23:33

Somebody arrest this terrorist for instigating civil strife and calling for defections from the army.

Missing peace 29 June 2013, 00:56

“We also oppose call for soldiers to defect from the army,” he declared during the sermon of the Friday Muslim prayers"

poor karim stupid as EVER! he doesn't even know how to read ; poor illeterate hezbi lover.... like all of them!

Missing helicopter 29 June 2013, 04:38

Impossible, he is hiding way down below in the midst of a security zone that is out of reach of the State.

Missing helicopter 29 June 2013, 04:35

wolf, I gave you thumbs up because I assumed that you were referring to the LAF uniform when you described it as "Sacred Uniform"......... and not HA uniform. Please confirm, because if you were referring to the latter I want to replace the up with a down thumb.

Missing cedars 29 June 2013, 07:13

Karim is this the translation in Assad's or Baath language?