TRIPOLI, Lebanon: A brief clash erupted Wednesday between Lebanese soldiers and a group of gunmen in Tripoli, north Lebanon, over a poster of Salafist Sheikh Ahmad Assir.
A security source said the fight broke out in the predominantly Sunni Muslim neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh after gunmen tried to put up a poster depicting Assir, a firebrand preacher who remains at large, and singer Fadl Shaker, who gave up his singing career to follow the sheikh.
The source, who spoke to The Daily Star on condition of anonymity, said that during the clash gunmen opened fire at a Lebanese Army post in Bab al-Tabbaneh. No casualties were reported.
The Lebanese Army quickly contained the fight and brought the situation under control.
Hundreds of gunmen were on the streets of Tripoli Monday in solidarity with Assir whose fighters fought fierce battles with the Army in Abra, east of the southern city of Sidon.
The gunbattles near Sidon came shortly after Assir gunmen attacked a Lebanese Army checkpoint in Abra Sunday.
Soldiers stormed Assir’s complex in Abra Monday, just after the preacher fled the premises.