Death toll of South Lebanon clash rises to three

Three people were killed on Sunday when fighting broke out in the Lebanese coastal city of Sidon between followers of a Sunni Salafist preacher and supporters of the Lebanese Shiite militant movement Hezbollah, a security official said.

The killings underlined the deepening Shi’ite-Sunni divide in the small but regionally important country, mirroring divisions in neighboring Syria where a Sunni-led revolt against President Bashar al-Assad broke out 20 months ago.

The clash occurred in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh on the edge of Sidon, a mostly Sunni city, when followers of Sheikh Ahmed al-Aseer, who adhere to a puritan interpretation of Islam, began removing banners put up by Hezbollah in advance of Ashura, a Shiite religious occasion.

Ain el-Helweh, a sprawling camp 40 km (25 miles) south of Beirut, is also home to many Lebanese.

“Tempers flared and the two sides fired automatic rifles at each other,” the Lebanese official said, adding that a Lebanese army unit was subsequently dispatched to the area.

One of the banners put up by Hezbollah in advance of Ashura, a Shiite religious occasion.

Ashura marks the killing of Imam Hussein bin Ali by Ummayyad forces at the battle of Karbala in Iraq in 680, a culmination of a power struggle that ushered in the great Sunni-Shi’ite divide in Islam which still shapes the Middle East’s political map.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati, a business tycoon who was a close friend to Assad before the revolt, called upon all parties “to exercise self-restraint and not provoke security incidents in this sensitive point of time”.

Tensions have increased in Lebanon against the backdrop of Syrian revolt. Wissam al-Hassan, an anti-Assad Lebanese intelligence commander, was killed by a car bomb in Beirut last month.

Sunni politicians and religious leaders blamed Syria and Hezbollah for the assassination. The two sides deny involvement.

In recent months violence has also flared on several occasions in the northern city of Tripoli, with fighters loyal to opposing sides in Syria’s war killing one another in clashes.

Hezbollah, the only Lebanese faction allowed to keep arms since the Taef agreement two decades ago ended a long civil war in the country, has supported Assad as he struggles to survive the Sunni-led revolution against his autocratic rule.

Assad is a member of the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam that has dominated power in Syria since the 1960s. His father, the late President Hafez al-Assad, played a leading role in setting up Hezbollah in the 1980s, along with Iran’s clerical rulers.

Army intervenes

Lebanon’s Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said Sunday, before heading a security meeting at the government Serail in Sidon, that the Lebanese army “has been given orders by his leadership to open fire on anyone carrying” non-state weapons.

“What’s happening is due to the political and sectarian tension which I warned of five months ago,” Charbel told reporters.

He also called on all Lebanese political groups to embrace the national dialogue, sponsored by President Michel Suleiman, “to pave the way towards” eliminating non-state weapons in the country.

Later, Charbel told reporters after the security meeting that he will present a proposal to the cabinet declaring Sidon “a military zone to prevent strife from erupting in the city in light of the many groups that make up Sidon.”

Arrests

The Lebanese army said Sunday in a statement that it has begun to arrest people involved in the latest shootings in Sidon.

“The army forces warn that it will not be lenient towards any attempt to disrupt security and stir dissension,” the statement said.

Lebanon’s army added that it “will deal forcibly” with any non-state armed groups regardless of their affiliations.

factors that led to the strife

Future bloc MP Bahia Hariri said Sunday that what is needed is to eliminate the “factors that lead to strife.”

The lawmaker, who represents Sidon in the Lebanese parliament, told Future News television, “We have called on the security and military agencies to restore security and stability to the city and open a serious and immediate investigation to reveal the circumstances of the killing that took place.”

“Sidon is the capital of South Lebanon and will remain the foundation for civil peace,” Hariri also said.

She added that all groups “agree on the on the need to contain the latest clashes in serious cooperation with the security agencies.”

Reuters/Agencies

  • yazidi

    banners put up by Hezbollah in advance of Ashura, a Shiite religious occasion……..why they put it in sunni area… they knew its provoke !!! thats why they have black hate in blaming all the sunni of killing  Imam Hussein bin Ali this hate will never end its a religion its a jihad and we can see it every day in syria,iraq,iran,bahrin, and now lebanon on a big scale its the beginnig of the nifaqi impire called farisi iran supported by the jewish state in return for their peace (south lebanon and golan hights) the green light has been given to this impire since the fall of sadam.. a free gift given to this filthy impire.

    • Moe2000

       Ashura is 10 days where Shia Muslims mourn the murder of the grandchildren of prophet Mohammed (saw) by Yazid’s army the drunk power hungry warlord that tried to erase his deeds from the history books.

      • Hannibal

        Why live in the past?

        • Salitizi

          Hannibal my friend you should practice what you preach. It is quite obvious you dislike Syria for some bad they did when they occupied Lebanon. Maybe you and some of the other bloggers should also stop living in the past as well.

        • Hannibal

          @Salitizi:disqus I beg to differ… And differ largely… The Syrians and their stooges never left Lebanon… They suck on our bloodline still like a wicked leech… Once they really really leave I wil stop criticizing them. You should criticize them as well… Last I checked Lebanon is for the Lebanese and they are far far from being Lebanese.

    • haririBenASSaoud

      ah my; i thought sunnism is tolerant; i did not know you kill for banners; thanks for informing us

    • dateam

      you know what amazes me especially on this site….is those that claim they want freedom and democracy yet take every opportunity to attack along sectarian lines….the level of ignorance is beyond belief….to say why do they put it in a sunni area is like saying why do christians put up xmas trees in muslim areas…i ask this question of all muslims…were the prohets of islam sunni or shia? or were they just muslim?do both sunni and shia preach the 5 pillars of islam or not? thats all you need to know and thats all you need to follow? this is not about religion for if it was palestine would exist….ive been all over lebanon and seen none of this crap….in the nabatiyeh the christians and muslims decorate the whole town during xmas and easter….yazidi i suggest that if you hate that much then what are you doing on this site…take up arms and go fight all those that have oppressed you however might i suggest you look in your own backyard first….grow up and join the real world if religion teaches anything its respect starting with love thy neighbour…

      • Hannibal

        A Christmas tree is a symbol of peace… It is beautiful… No blood stains on it… Your banners are a sign of aggression and death and mayhem… That is why. Comparing the two is like comparing heaven (the tree) to hell (banners).

        • dateam

          again you prove my point at the level of ignorance….Your banners are a sign of aggression and death and mayhem…what do you mean by your banners? your making an assumption because i have made a comment that i am from one or the other? you have made a comment about one or the other so why should i be any different to you? you miss the point i made completely…in everything i said you have chosen to pick one against the other instead of trying to find a right and wrong…this my friend is what is the very essence of what is wrong in the arab world….just because a person does not like one against the other gives no justification for one side to ridicule the other or antaganise the other….these practices have been carried out for years whether it be muslim,christian or jew,sunni,shia,druze,orthodox catholic or whatever…..ask yourself why is it NOW  a problem? until people like you learn to see people as people then this will never end….what if they started taking down crosses or burning churches as is the case in some parts of the middle east? where does it end? do you want freedom? do you believe in democracy? do you believe in ones right to be whatever you want? preach to whatever you want? do you believe in the so called values of the arab spring? then if your answer is yes are you not contradicting yourself? or maybe its all just a farce? maybe its just pure hatred that has been embedded in every inch of your thought processes? are you a person that believes in god? if so which god preaches hate? or is it people that preach hate? i mean would this sort of beahiour be accepted in europe,usa,australia or any other western country?

      • Hannibal

        I like your message REALLY I DO… But I am stating the fact… The simple fact that most people will love to see a Xmas tree beautiful and lit up… A symbol of a new beginning… A symbol of peace and the birth of Jesus rather than seeing those banners (the yellow banners) about martyrs and death and politically motivated slogans… That was a simple statement and you know it is true. You see Christians (and I am not one) try their best to separate God and country… Moslems and Jews want to espouse God and country… Jesus said give to Caesar what is to Caesar and to God what is to God… And yes Yazidi and Wargame are living in the past as do those carrying the blood of Hassan and Hussein and dancing in the streets to raise a political temper and a political agenda. 

        • haririBenASSaoud

          buddy, you got the right arguments, yet, sadly enough, you reach the wrong conclusions

        • dateam

          If we want to talk fact lets start by trying to do a google search on this sheikh assir? can we find anything on him? who is he? where did he suddenly arise from? whose bank rolling him? what is the purpose of all this now? we could go on and on?

      • haririBenASSaoud

        this blog is allergic to truth; if you are truth carrier in saoudi arabia, you get beheaded

      • Hannibal

        I am with you 100% regarding Assir BUT who isn’t getting foreign money to ruin this country? Tell me that Iranian money is any different than Saudi money any different than CIA money any different than Syrian money… They are all the same… CRIMINALS!!! and my people the common Lebanese silent majority suffers still…

        • dateam

          yes thats true…but the sad part is we as the people still follow blindly…thats where the problem is…we still have the old war lords running the show…the new generation has been stimmied and its growth stifled because weve been kept in our place….we are a country of contradictions….all it would take to change the balance of power is for this generation to unite and form a political party for lebanon and about lebanon…if they become the deciding vote in parliament they could change things….

      • Hannibal

        I totally agree with your post below… So would you like to start a party? I am game… Where is Mekenseh Party when you need him? lol

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

           Btw hannibal i noticed that you didn’t correct your statement regarding the Syrian opposition electing anyone but sunnis. Funny how you were quick to criticize but not quick to praise or admit you were wrong.

        • Hannibal

          @yahoo-QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I:disqus I was wrong… Happy? Now let us see if it holds in the future… As you know Bashar and his dad before him tried to abolish the law that says that a Syrian president can belong to any sect and the Sunnis raised hell against it… As a matter of fact Bashar as his Father before him had to convert (at least on paper) to Sunni Islam to be presidents. If you believe that anyone qualified can be elected in the new Syria and guarantee it let me know.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         Interesting how you single out yazidi but not the other sectarians on this blog. Speaks a lot about who you are.

        • Salitizi

          And its interesting how you like to ridicule all that support Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. That also speaks a lot about who you are. BIASED 

    • Hannibal

      You know I can buy all the bull you say but support from the Jewish state? Really? HA is the worst enemy and threat that Israel ever had from ANY Sunni or Arab army EVER raised… I may not agree with them hijacking the decision of peace or war from an entire Lebanese populace but facts are facts… Believe you and me that Israel would love to see both Sunnis and Shias disappear… I hope both sides stop the “ta5wiin” and stop blaming Israel for Arab and Persian stupidity. A Secular Lebanon is the ONLY solution.

  • yazidi

    banners put up by Hezbollah in advance of Ashura, a Shiite religious occasion……..why they put it in sunni area… they knew its provoke !!! thats why they have black hate in blaming all the sunni of killing  Imam Hussein bin Ali this hate will never end its a religion its a jihad and we can see it every day in syria,iraq,iran,bahrin, and now lebanon on a big scale its the beginnig of the nifaqi impire called farisi iran supported by the jewish state in return for their peace (south lebanon and golan hights) the green light has been given to this impire since the fall of sadam.. a free gift given to this filthy impire.

    • Moe2000

       Ashura is 10 days where Shia Muslims mourn the murder of the grandchildren of prophet Mohammed (saw) by Yazid’s army the drunk power hungry warlord that tried to erase his deeds from the history books.

      • Hannibal

        Why live in the past?

        • Salitizi

          Hannibal my friend you should practice what you preach. It is quite obvious you dislike Syria for some bad they did when they occupied Lebanon. Maybe you and some of the other bloggers should also stop living in the past as well.

        • Hannibal

          @Salitizi:disqus I beg to differ… And differ largely… The Syrians and their stooges never left Lebanon… They suck on our bloodline still like a wicked leech… Once they really really leave I wil stop criticizing them. You should criticize them as well… Last I checked Lebanon is for the Lebanese and they are far far from being Lebanese.

    • haririBenASSaoud

      ah my; i thought sunnism is tolerant; i did not know you kill for banners; thanks for informing us

    • dateam

      you know what amazes me especially on this site….is those that claim they want freedom and democracy yet take every opportunity to attack along sectarian lines….the level of ignorance is beyond belief….to say why do they put it in a sunni area is like saying why do christians put up xmas trees in muslim areas…i ask this question of all muslims…were the prohets of islam sunni or shia? or were they just muslim?do both sunni and shia preach the 5 pillars of islam or not? thats all you need to know and thats all you need to follow? this is not about religion for if it was palestine would exist….ive been all over lebanon and seen none of this crap….in the nabatiyeh the christians and muslims decorate the whole town during xmas and easter….yazidi i suggest that if you hate that much then what are you doing on this site…take up arms and go fight all those that have oppressed you however might i suggest you look in your own backyard first….grow up and join the real world if religion teaches anything its respect starting with love thy neighbour…

      • Hannibal

        A Christmas tree is a symbol of peace… It is beautiful… No blood stains on it… Your banners are a sign of aggression and death and mayhem… That is why. Comparing the two is like comparing heaven (the tree) to hell (banners).

        • dateam

          again you prove my point at the level of ignorance….Your banners are a sign of aggression and death and mayhem…what do you mean by your banners? your making an assumption because i have made a comment that i am from one or the other? you have made a comment about one or the other so why should i be any different to you? you miss the point i made completely…in everything i said you have chosen to pick one against the other instead of trying to find a right and wrong…this my friend is what is the very essence of what is wrong in the arab world….just because a person does not like one against the other gives no justification for one side to ridicule the other or antaganise the other….these practices have been carried out for years whether it be muslim,christian or jew,sunni,shia,druze,orthodox catholic or whatever…..ask yourself why is it NOW  a problem? until people like you learn to see people as people then this will never end….what if they started taking down crosses or burning churches as is the case in some parts of the middle east? where does it end? do you want freedom? do you believe in democracy? do you believe in ones right to be whatever you want? preach to whatever you want? do you believe in the so called values of the arab spring? then if your answer is yes are you not contradicting yourself? or maybe its all just a farce? maybe its just pure hatred that has been embedded in every inch of your thought processes? are you a person that believes in god? if so which god preaches hate? or is it people that preach hate? i mean would this sort of beahiour be accepted in europe,usa,australia or any other western country?

      • Hannibal

        I like your message REALLY I DO… But I am stating the fact… The simple fact that most people will love to see a Xmas tree beautiful and lit up… A symbol of a new beginning… A symbol of peace and the birth of Jesus rather than seeing those banners (the yellow banners) about martyrs and death and politically motivated slogans… That was a simple statement and you know it is true. You see Christians (and I am not one) try their best to separate God and country… Moslems and Jews want to espouse God and country… Jesus said give to Caesar what is to Caesar and to God what is to God… And yes Yazidi and Wargame are living in the past as do those carrying the blood of Hassan and Hussein and dancing in the streets to raise a political temper and a political agenda. 

        • haririBenASSaoud

          buddy, you got the right arguments, yet, sadly enough, you reach the wrong conclusions

        • dateam

          If we want to talk fact lets start by trying to do a google search on this sheikh assir? can we find anything on him? who is he? where did he suddenly arise from? whose bank rolling him? what is the purpose of all this now? we could go on and on?

      • haririBenASSaoud

        this blog is allergic to truth; if you are truth carrier in saoudi arabia, you get beheaded

      • Hannibal

        I am with you 100% regarding Assir BUT who isn’t getting foreign money to ruin this country? Tell me that Iranian money is any different than Saudi money any different than CIA money any different than Syrian money… They are all the same… CRIMINALS!!! and my people the common Lebanese silent majority suffers still…

        • dateam

          yes thats true…but the sad part is we as the people still follow blindly…thats where the problem is…we still have the old war lords running the show…the new generation has been stimmied and its growth stifled because weve been kept in our place….we are a country of contradictions….all it would take to change the balance of power is for this generation to unite and form a political party for lebanon and about lebanon…if they become the deciding vote in parliament they could change things….

      • Hannibal

        I totally agree with your post below… So would you like to start a party? I am game… Where is Mekenseh Party when you need him? lol

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

           Btw hannibal i noticed that you didn’t correct your statement regarding the Syrian opposition electing anyone but sunnis. Funny how you were quick to criticize but not quick to praise or admit you were wrong.

        • Hannibal

          @yahoo-QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I:disqus I was wrong… Happy? Now let us see if it holds in the future… As you know Bashar and his dad before him tried to abolish the law that says that a Syrian president can belong to any sect and the Sunnis raised hell against it… As a matter of fact Bashar as his Father before him had to convert (at least on paper) to Sunni Islam to be presidents. If you believe that anyone qualified can be elected in the new Syria and guarantee it let me know.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QUHCMQH262LEGPZCMEGORVMP2I Preview

         Interesting how you single out yazidi but not the other sectarians on this blog. Speaks a lot about who you are.

        • Salitizi

          And its interesting how you like to ridicule all that support Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. That also speaks a lot about who you are. BIASED 

    • Hannibal

      You know I can buy all the bull you say but support from the Jewish state? Really? HA is the worst enemy and threat that Israel ever had from ANY Sunni or Arab army EVER raised… I may not agree with them hijacking the decision of peace or war from an entire Lebanese populace but facts are facts… Believe you and me that Israel would love to see both Sunnis and Shias disappear… I hope both sides stop the “ta5wiin” and stop blaming Israel for Arab and Persian stupidity. A Secular Lebanon is the ONLY solution.

  • Beauty-Full-Lebanon

    Every occasion has its “MORTARS” . at least someone is going to heaven!. we should look to the positive side also 

    • haririBenASSaoud

      we are here to live & we should endeavour for a better life; the cult of death, aka salafism, wants us to die for allat; we should prepare our death by leading an examplary life & not the poopsite

  • Beauty-Full-Lebanon

    Every occasion has its “MORTARS” . at least someone is going to heaven!. we should look to the positive side also 

    • haririBenASSaoud

      we are here to live & we should endeavour for a better life; the cult of death, aka salafism, wants us to die for allat; we should prepare our death by leading an examplary life & not the poopsite

  • Hugo7

    Banners this, banners that, are we not all LEBANESE, and that is what should count, if it does no more, Lebanon is already separated beyond repair. It is all too sad.There is the beautiful country with great people, still all I see and hear is hate against their own.

  • Hugo7

    Banners this, banners that, are we not all LEBANESE, and that is what should count, if it does no more, Lebanon is already separated beyond repair. It is all too sad.There is the beautiful country with great people, still all I see and hear is hate against their own.