Lebanese gunmen block roads to protest court ruling

July 6, 2012 13:35

BEIRUT - Gunmen and protesters burned tires and blocked roads in northern Lebanon for a second day on Friday in protest at a military court releasing eight soldiers detained over the killing of a cleric.

Soldiers shot the Sunni Muslim sheikh, Ahmed Abdul Wahid, and a companion in May as they drove through an army checkpoint.The court on Thursday freed eight soldiers arrested after the killing.

Five others were kept in detention but the releases enraged Sunni areas near the sheikh's hometown.

Tensions have been high for months in northern Lebanon, partly due to the revolt in neighboring Syria. Conflicting pro- and anti-uprising sympathies has reignited local tensions and has sparked several bouts of deadly fighting in the port city of Tripoli, which the army has struggled to stamp out.

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