Live Coverage: Fighting rocks Sidon

Supporters of Sheikh Assir engaged in clashes with the Lebanese army

Army in Sidon. (AFP/Mahmoud Zayat)

Clashes erupted early Sunday afternoon in southern Lebanon's Sidon after supporters of Sunni Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir attacked the Lebanese army; after fierce fighting rocked the city earlier in the week. Follow this page for the latest up-to-the minute developments of the clashes.


Click here for Monday's live coverage.

[8:50] OTV: Masked gunmen block coastal road near Sidon’s crusader castle


[8:32] NBN: Beirut-Sidon coastal highway closed due to sniper fire


[8:22] Al-Arabiya: Four Hezbollah militants killed, dozens wounded in Sidon clashes


[7:50] MTV: Lebanese army enters Bilal bin Rabah Mosque’s square


[7:20] MTV: Lebanese army closes in on Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque in Sidon after fierce overnight clashes


[01:05] Future News: Bullets landing across Sidon, including Corniche area


[00:46] Al-Jadeed: Army increases pace of its operations in Sidon


[00:24] NNA: Gunfire aimed at Lebanese army checkpoint in Taamir area outside the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp continuing. The army is responding to the sources of fire


[00:17] LBC: Three Assir supporters killed in Sidon fighting


[23:42] NNA: Death toll for Lebanese army troops in Sidon fighting rises to 10. LBC reports three Assir supporters have been killed.


[23:11] Al-Jadeed: Assir is present in Abra's Bilal bin Rabah Mosque and is directing his gunmen in their fighting against the army


[23:02] Al-Jadeed: Assir gunmen enter residential building in Abra and open fire on army from it


[23:01] Al-Jadeed: Gunfire at army checkpoint Taamir area near entrance of Sidon’s Ain al-Hilweh renews


[22:55] NNA: Clashes renew in Abra, while a number of RGP rounds hit central Sidon


[22:50] A video uploaded Sunday afternoon on YouTube shows the ongoing clashes in Sidon.


[21:25] NNA: Mortar shell explodes on top of a building roof in Sidon


[20: 45] Lebanese Army command releases names of six soldiers killed in Sidon clashes: Captain Ali Adnan al-Masri, First Lieutenant Samer Geryes Tanios, Lieutenant George Elien bou Saab, First Class Private Rami Ali Khabbaz, Private Bilal Ali Saleh, and Private Elie Nicolas Rahme


[20:35] LBC: Clashes in Sidon’s Abra have intensified, RPGs are being heard


[20:15] MTV: Sheikh Assir’s brother killed in Sidon’s clashes


[20:08] LBC: LAF officer from commando unit killed in Sidon clashes


[20:00] LBC: Clashes renew between army, Assir’s supporters near the Bilal bin Rabah mosque


[19:25] NNA: Army forces comes under fire on Sidon’s coastal highway, no casualties reported


[19:05] OTV: Sheikh Assir fled area near the Bilal bin Rabah mosque with close associates


[19:00] Future TV: LAF deploys additional reinforcements to Sidon’s Abra


[18:52] MTV: Army commandos securing areas of clashes in Sidon’s Abra


[18:30] NNA: Mortar shell explodes in one of Haret Sidon’s neighborhoods, injures two


[18:25] NOW: Source denies Jund al-Sham shooting at security checkpoint near Ain Al-Hilweh


[18:20] MTV: Armed men exchange gunfire in Ain al-Hilweh camp


[18:12] LBC: Suleiman says army has full authority to strike attackers, arrest perpetrators to preserve security


[17:49] NBN: Salam calls on political forces to stand by army, for security forces to end Sidon clashes


[17:38] Al-Jadeed: LAF takes control of Abra area near Bilal Bin Rabah mosque


[17:35] Sidon municipality chief to An-Nahar: Assir must handle the consequences of battle with the army


[17:32] MTV: Assir’s bodyguard killed in Sidon clashes


[17:30] VDL (100.5) radio: Protesters block Beirut’s Cite Sportive road in support of Sheikh Assir


[17:28] NNA: Residents fleeing Abra clashes towards towns in eastern Sidon and Jezzine


[17:25] Al-Jadeed: Palestinian forces in Ain al-Hilweh will not allow any member to join #Sidon clashes


[17:22] NOW: Jund al-Sham group shoots at security checkpoint near entrance to Ain al-Hilweh camp


[17:15] NNA: Civilian injured in Alman neighborhood by stray bullet fired from Abra

[17:13] LBC: LAF cordons off area around Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque


[17:10] Lebanese army announced it has “taken necessary measures” to control the situation and arrest armed men.


The statement also said that “an armed group affiliated with Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir attacked an LAF checkpoint for no reason in Sidon’s Abra, killing two officers and one soldier.


The army added that a “a number of other army troops were injured and a few military vehicles were also damaged.”


[17:00] Reuters: Lebanese army decided to strike against gunmen with ‘iron fist,’ source says 


[16:51] Al-Jadeed: Sniper fire hits several neighborhoods near Sidon’s Abra


[16:42] LBC: One Assir supporter dead, several others injured in Sidon clashes


[16:39] Sidon residents call on LAF to help them evacuate their homes, local media reports


[16:35] An-Nahar: LAF vehicle combusts after coming under fire, ambulances are rushing to aid the injured


[16:34] MTV: Lebanese army beginning to deploy to vicinity of Assir’s Bilal bin Rabah Mosque in Abra


[16:33] Abdel Rahman al-Barzi to An-Nahar: Ain al-Helwe gunmen are being pressured into joining the battle in Sidon

[16:29] Al-Jadeed: Syrians, Palestinians among Assir’s supporters involved in Sidon fighting


[16:27] NBN: LAF reopen closed roads, deploy patrols to facilitate traffic in Sidon


[16:20] Al-Jadeed: Clashes in Sidon's Abra area intensify


[16:08] NBN: Masked gunmen deploy on Sidon’s Corniche and open fire into the air


[16:00] Assir called on his supporters across Lebanon to join the battle currently raging in Sidon, as well as for the defection of soldiers from the Lebanese army. 



[15:46] NNA: Two soldiers, one of whom is an officer, killed in Sidon clashes with Assir supporters; read the full story here.


[15:45] NBN: Four LAF members, including an officer, killed in clashes with Assir supporters in Sidon 


[15:44] LBC: Armed men are pouring diesel on the Sidon coastal highway to obstruct traffic


[15:30] LBC: Intermittent gunfire and RPG rounds heard in Sidon’s Abra area amid deployment of armed men in Sidon

[15:16] Al-Jadeed: Fire erupts in grove near populated area in Sidon’s Abra due to clashes


[15:00] LBC: Gunfire continuing near Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir’s Bilal bin Rabah Mosque in Sidon’s Abra

[14:53]  VDL (93.3): Rockets, machine guns used in Sidon clashes, Lebanese army calls reinforcements

[14:30] Al-Jadeed: RPG rounds heard in Sidon

[14:17] MTV: Sidon cleric Ahmad al-Assir’ supporters attack army checkpoints in Abra

Lebanese army troops deploy in Sidon. (AFP/Mahmoud Zayat)