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Attack against Lebanese army in Sidon killed 6 soldiers

BEIRUT | / NNA - June 23, 2013, 23h01
A vehicle of the Lebanese army in Sidon on Sunday June 23. Image from a video by LBCI television.
Six Lebanese Army members were killed on Sunday, with several others injured, when attacked by gunmen considered as militants of Ahmad al Assir. In a communiqué the Lebanese Army said it would “pursue its mission in suppressing all acts of strife in Sidon and elsewhere in the country, and shall respond to any side providing political or media cover to strife perpetrators”.
"The Army has exerted great efforts for months in a bid to distance Lebanon from incidents in Syria, and has tried not to respond to re-current political demands to suppress Sheikh Ahmad Al-Assir's clan in Sidon, so as to contain strife," the communiqué indicated. It added that the Army has avoided any response to strife attempts other than its exerted efforts in preserving security and stability in the country and the safety of its soldiers.

Ahmad Al Assir recently issued a fatwa against the Lebanese Army, stating that the institution is supporting the Syrian regime.

"What happened in Sidon on Sunday has exceeded all expectations,” the Army statement said. “The Army has been targeted in cold blood with the intentional aim of triggering an explosive situation in Sidon, as in the year 1975, with plots for plunging Lebanon, once again, into the circle of violence," the communiqué added.

The Army's Command urged all Sidon's political and spiritual leaders to speak out their true opinions, with all clarity, either in support of the Lebanese Army against strife attempts or in support of such killers of Army soldiers and callers of sedition, the communiqué stated.

Care taker PM Najib Mikati commented on armed clashes in 'Abra today, saying that any aggression against the military must be vigorously deplored,.

Having implored politicians to rally about the Lebanese military, Mikati beseeched them to act wisely by desisting from any overreactions deemed harmful to Lebanon's security, stability and efforts designed to remedy the present explosive situation.

Mikati has been closely in contact with the president, army and police top brass and Interior minister Marwan Charbel over the present situation. He also consulted with Fouad Siniora and other local leaders in a bid to defuse the crisis.

Future Parliamentary Bloc Head, Fuad Siniora, condemned the attack, saying that "Sidon shall always remain a committed city to the State and the Law, and shall never allow anyone to place it in confrontation with the Army or State," Siniora indicated in his statement, in the wake of clashes that broke out in Sidon on Sunday following the attack.

On Sunday evening, the National News Agency reported that a wide Army deployment was taking place in various areas of Beirut, "in a preventive move against any road block attempts". Many roads were blocked by angry Lebanese people in several regions of the countries, to protest against Sunday's attack.
#Sidon, #Lebanese_army, #AhmadAlAssir
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