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Lebanon’s Sunnis Feel Threatened Following Arsal Ambush

Following the conflict in the town of Arsal, the doubt and distrust between Sunni and Shiite political groups in Lebanon have spread to the military, writes Elie Hajj.
Lebanese Sunni Islamists shout slogans as they carry coffins of Lebanese Islamist militants after their bodies arrived from Syria, in Tripoli, northern Lebanon December 22, 2012. Funerals will be held in Lebanon for three Lebanese Islamist militants killed while fighting with rebels in Syria. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3BU8I

Large or small, every incident in Lebanon these days takes on a sectarian dimension which in one way or another is connected to the crisis in Syria. In some areas the country’s large Sunni population interacts with the revolutionaries in its neighboring country and occasionally provides them moral and material support. Meanwhile, the country’s large Shiite community supports the Syrian regime in much the same manner.

Both communities have had to repeatedly bury the bodies of men killed in clashes inside Syrian territory. Most recently Hezbollah mourned the death of one of their own last Saturday, which stated that he was “martyred while performing his duty of jihad,” and failed to give any further details.

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