BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army denied Friday that gunmen had entered the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque in Beirut, following reports that armed men had removed the sheikh delivering Friday prayers at the place of worship.
"The Lebanese Army leadership denied in a phone call with the National News Agency that gunmen had entered the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque in Beirut," the state-run agency reported.
Media outlets Friday said gunmen had forced the sheikh delivering Friday prayers to step down. However, other media reports said men inside the mosque had urged the preacher not to make any reference to former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whether in positive or negative terms.
Following the reports, the Lebanese military deployed immediately to the area to prevent any unrest.
The mosque, situated near Martyrs’ Square, was built by Hariri’s late father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri who was assassinated in 2005.