Rescuers carry an injured army soldier during clashes in Abra, Sunday, June 23, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Former Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn admitted Sunday that an unspoken compromise had allowed Sunni extremist Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir to escape from last year's clashes between his supporters and the Army in Sidon, and said that Al-Qaeda has been in Lebanon for years.The clashes between Assir's militia and Army troops in Sidon in June 2013 killed 18 soldiers and around 40 of Assir's combatants.Ghosn stressed that Al-Qaeda affiliated groups and militants have been in Lebanon since 2011, when as defense minister he called on the country's different parties to unite on providing the Army with the "necessary political cover" to eradicate all terrorist individuals.
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