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6 Lebanese soldiers die in battle with Sunni cleric’s followers

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SIDON, Lebanon — At least six Lebanese soldiers were killed Sunday in a ierce clash with followers of a radical Sunni Muslim cleric in the southern city of Sidon as Lebanon’s security continues to deteriorate due to sectarian tensions over Hezbollah’s involvement in neighboring Syria’s civil war. The battle between the Lebanese Armed Forces and followers of Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir was apparently sparked by an attempt to arrest of one of the cleric’s bodyguards. The fighting eventually drew the involvement of Hezbollah fighters, based on a nearby mountainside, who used mortars and recoilless rifles to support the attack by Lebanese commandos.

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