Lebanon sentences radical cleric to death

BEIRUT (dpa)- A Lebanese military court on Thursday sentenced radical cleric Ahmed al-Asir to death for his involvement in deadly clashes against the Lebanese army four years ago.
The Sunni cleric was accused of illegal possession of weapons and the killing of Lebanese soldiers, in addition to forming an armed group and inciting sectarianism, Lebanon's state news agency NNA reported.

Al-Asir, an outspoken critic of the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement, refused to recognize the court's authority.
The court also sentenced al-Asir's brother and seven others to death in the same case.
Famous Lebanese-Palestinian singer Fadel Shaker, who was close to the cleric, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in absentia.
The rulings are final.
In 2013, clashes erupted in Lebanon's southern city of Sidon between al-Asir's followers and the Lebanese army, leaving 18 soldiers and an unspecified number of the cleric's followers dead.
Two years later, al-Asir was arrested at Beirut airport, where he was to trying to flee the country using a fake passport.
Al-Asir became famous in Lebanon for his sermons following the 2011 uprising in neighbouring Syria against the regime of President Bashar al-Asad.
In his sermons, al-Asir backed the Syrian opposition and lashed out at Iran and Hezbollah, who are key allies of al-Assad.

Friday, September 29th 2017

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