News / Middle East

Lebanese Port City Rocked by Fighting

Lebanese army soldiers gesture as they capture a gunman in Sidon, southern Lebanon, June 24, 2013.
Lebanese army soldiers gesture as they capture a gunman in Sidon, southern Lebanon, June 24, 2013.
Edward Yeranian
At least 16 Lebanese Army soldiers have been killed since fighting broke out Sunday in the port city of Sidon between followers of a militant Sunni cleric and government troops.

Troops exchanged gunfire with armed Sunni militants holed up inside a mosque. Lebanese media reported dozens of casualties, including Sunni fighters, over a dozen soldiers and a number of civilians. Islamic militants also attacked army troops outside a Palestinian refugee camp near the city.

A top Sunni cleric in the northern city of Tripoli, Sheikh Salem al-Rifai, told journalists that negotiations with Lebanese Army officials to impose a one-hour truce to evacuate the dead and wounded had broken down.

Eyewitnesses reported that Shi'ite militiamen from the pro-Iranian Hezbollah group had taken part in the fighting in Sidon. Sunni member of parliament Bahia Hariri told a TV station that she was surrounded in her home outside the city by armed gunmen.

Former Prime Minister Fouad Saniora told reporters that he and other top leaders, including President Michel Suleiman, were trying to “impose a complete curfew in Sidon,” and the “withdrawal of all militiamen from the city.”

Hezbollah's al Manar TV claimed that the “security perimeter” outside the mosque where fighting was taking place was being “cleaned out” by Lebanese troops. The TV also claimed that Sunni Sheikh Amad al-Assir, who was leading the battle, had fled to an outlying village.

The reports could not be independently confirmed..

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, says that Syria's civil war is causing tensions between Sunni and Shi'ite adversaries to erupt in parts of neighboring Lebanon.

He says that sectarian fighting has broken out in Lebanon and Sunnis are siding with Sunnis and Shi'ites are siding with Shi'ites, creating fresh divisions in the country despite pledges by various leaders to keep the country outside the Syrian conflict.

Civilians could be seen fleeing the Adra neighborhood of Sidon, epicenter of the conflict, during brief lulls in the fighting. Lebanese TV reported that the nearby Zahrani power plant was damaged by fighting, depriving the city of power and disabling water pumping stations.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid