Lebanon communal tensions rise



BASSEM MROUE | Associated Press

Published — Wednesday 24 April 2013

Last update 24 April 2013 2:37 am

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BEIRUT: Two Syrian rockets struck Lebanon yesterday, causing damage and heightening tensions between Lebanese Shiite and Sunni communities over neighboring Syria’s civil war, security officials in Beirut said.
Rockets apparently fired by Syrian rebels have hit mostly Shiite areas in Lebanon several times in the past two weeks. One salvo killed at least two people. The rocket attack came hours after two leading Lebanese Sunni clerics called for holy war, or jihad, in Syria. They appealed to fighters to protect Sunnis in villages under attack by Syrian troops and pro-government Shiite gunmen.
In Lebanon, hard-line Sunni cleric Sheik Ahmad Al-Assir, one of the militant group Hezbollah’s harshest critics, issued a religious edict urging Sunni Lebanese men “to defend Qusair.” Al-Assir is based in the southern port city of Sidon
Another Sunni cleric, Sheikh Salem Al-Rafie, who is based in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, issued another edict calling for a “general mobilization among Sunnis to protect Sunni brothers.” He said the people of Qusair appealed for “money and men.”

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