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Lebanon Threatened by Civil War

In the tense few days following the clashes between followers of Salafist Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir and the Lebanese army, many are wondering what the implications for the stability of the country will be.
A Lebanese army soldier stands atop of an armoured personnel carrier (APC) as he patrols the area near the mosque complex where hardline Sunni cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir was believed to be sheltering with his supporters, in Abra near Sidon, southern Lebanon June 25, 2013. The Lebanese government will try on Tuesday to secure the country after the deadliest violence since the start of a two-year conflict in neighbouring Syria that has pushed Lebanon's myriad militia to clashes. Gunfights between the army a
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The suburb of Abra, which lies just outside the city of Sidon, the so-called capital of South Lebanon, appeared as if it could be part of Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

In this area, the radical Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir had established a security zone around the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque, which has become the headquarters of Assir and his group. Assir's story does not differ much from those of hundreds of other similar figures who have taken center stage over the past five years in many Arab countries.

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