SIDON, Lebanon: Three preachers affiliated with fugitive Salafist Sheikh Ahmad Assir were called in for questioning over recent speeches they made criticizing security agencies, a security source told The Daily Star Tuesday.
The sheikhs, identified as Othman Hneyneh, Alaa Saleh, and Assem al-Arifi, had recently made speeches at pro-Assir rallies and in mosques, criticizing the Army and the judiciary.
The Army engaged in deadly clashes with Salafist gunmen in June after Assir’s forces ambushed a military checkpoint near the sheikh’s complex in the coastal city of Sidon.
The fighting left at least 18 soldiers and 28 gunmen dead.
Assir, an anti-Hezbollah figure, and dozens of his followers are charged with murder, attempted murder, destruction of property and inciting sectarian strife.