BEIRUT: Supporters of firebrand Sheikh Ahmad Assir vowed to stage a protest in Sidon Friday despite a protest ban by authorities, said a sheikh close to the fugitive preacher Thursday.
The sheikh, who declined to be identified, said worshippers from the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque in Abra, where Assir used to deliver sermons, would hold the protest Friday at noon as scheduled.
“Security bodies have informed the mosque’s committee of a firm decision to crack down on any demonstration or protest outside Abra’s mosque even if this requires opening fire,” he told the Central News Agency.
“But we insist on holding the protest and we hold Sidon’s two MPs, its religious and political figures first and Iran’s party [Hezbollah] second responsible for any bloodshed.”
The protest aims at pressuring authorities to release Sheikh Assem Arefi and others arrested by the Army over the Abra clashes with Assir in June.
Arefi was arrested Tuesday after he confessed to having fought the Army alongside Assir.