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Hundreds of supporters of the radical Salafist Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir assaulted TV crews in Abra, smashed the windows of their cars and brroke their cameras as they marched from Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque after Friday prayers, heading to al-Karameh roundabout in the southern city of Sidon, according to media reports.

This developmnet comes a day after Assir resurfaced in an alleged audio message urging his supporters to “break the barrier of fear and fear God only ” and protest “in a peaceful and civilized manner” following Friday prayers “in coordination with the Muslim clerics.”

The attacks prompted the Lebanese army to ask journalists to leave Sidon and the northern city of Tripoli until the end of the protest in the southern city.

The mosque’s new Imam, Sheikh Mohammed Abu Zeid, did not mention al-Asir when he delivered his sermon to worshippers.

The protesters called for release of Abra’s suspects and threatened to block the roads .

State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr charged on Thursday 27 people for their involvement in the Abra battles where Bilal Bin Rabah mosque is located.

Ten of them were charged in absentia, including Assir and a Salafist singer Fadel Shaker, who remain at large

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