TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Lebanese troops quell violence

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 9:57 p.m.
 

BEIRUT — Lebanese troops detonated booby traps at a complex captured from followers of a hard-line Sunni cleric on Tuesday, securing the area after two days of fighting that left dozens dead in the port city of Sidon.

Soldiers who blocked off several office and residential buildings around the mosque where Ahmad al-Assir once preached told reporters they were clearing the complex of explosives. An Associated Press photographer on the scene heard several explosions and saw black smoke billowing during the operation.

The fate of Al-Assir, a maverick Sunni sheik who controlled the complex for about two years, is unknown.

His rapid rise in popularity among Sunnis underscored the deep frustration of many Lebanese who resent the influence Shiites have gained in government via the militant group Hezbollah.

At least 17 soldiers were killed and 50 were wounded in the fighting while more than 20 of al-Assir's supporters died in the battle, according to a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk to reporters.

The fighting, some of the worst involving Lebanese troops in years, was seen as a test of the weak government's ability to contain the furies unleashed by the civil war in neighboring Syria.

Despite the heavy death toll, the military appeared to have successfully put down the threat from al-Assir and his armed supporters by late Monday.

The U.S. embassy in Beirut urged Americans to avoid all travel to Lebanon because of safety and security concerns.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Warhol’s ‘One Dollar’ brings in the big bucks
  2. Saudi prince will donate all wealth, $32B worth
  3. Famine nears in Yemen; deadly blasts continue
  4. China’s new national security law covers everything from space to cults
  5. Egyptian security outposts attacked
  6. Images show Chinese airstrip on man-made Spratly island nearly finished
  7. Iran shrugs off deadline for nuclear talks
  8. Fate of Greece remains in peoples’ hands with referendum still on
  9. Militants attack Egyptian army checkpoints in Sinai, kill 53
  10. Indonesia plane crash death toll 141 as search effort ends
  11. Israelis intercept protest ship at sea bound for Gaza Strip