12 Lebanese troops killed in clashes with Sunni radicals

Burning tires are pictured in Tripoli, Lebanon, on Sunday amid protests in support of Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir.

Story highlights

  • Lebanese state news agency: Government troops surround Sunni cleric's compound
  • Civil war violence from Syria spills over to Lebanon

Twelve Lebanese soldiers have been killed in the southern city of Sidon since Sunday, in fighting with armed followers of Lebanese Sunni hardline cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir, according to the Lebanese state news agency.

Despite the casualties, the National News Agency reported that the Lebanese army had tightened its control over the al-Asir compound.

Al-Asir is a vocal supporter of the Syrian rebels who have been fighting Hezbollah and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The violence from the ongoing civil war in Syria has frequently spilled over into Lebanon in recent months.