Lebanon sentences Ahmed al-Assir to death

  |   World News

A Sunni Muslim cleric has been sentenced to death in Lebanon for his role in the death of dozens of people during clashes in the city of Sidon four years ago, according to officials. Ahmed al-Assir, who was arrested in 2015, was tried in a military tribunal along with 38 others accused of killing Lebanese soldiers in the southern city in June 2013.

The court on Thursday also sentenced to death two other defendants and five people who remain at large, including the cleric's brother. Former singer Fadel Shaker, who was tried in absentia, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, while the other 30 defendants were handed life sentences.

Tyab said Assir was "relatively unknown" before the Syrian conflict started in 2011, but "rose to prominence quickly for his fiery speeches on TV criticising Hezbollah for its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and praising the opposition", including al-Qaeda linked fighters.

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