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Lebanon arrests wanted militant cleric Ahmad al-Assir

August 15, 2015 7:14 pm

Lebanese authorities have arrested a fugitive radical Sunni preacher as he was trying to leave the country, officials say.

Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir was detained at Beirut airport early on Saturday.

He had been on the run since clashes with the Lebanese army in 2013, which left at least 17 soldiers dead.

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The cleric organised followers to fight alongside rebels in Syria in response to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia group which backs President Bashar al-Assad.

Sheikh Assir is wanted over an incident in June 2013 in which one of his men was caught with unauthorised weapons in his car at a military checkpoint in Sidon, 40km (28 miles) south of the capital, Beirut.

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