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Lebanon seeks death for cleric and former pop star

Sheikh Assir and Fadl Shaker were accused of involvement in the death of Lebanese soldiers

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A Lebanese military judge is seeking death penalty for radical Sunni cleric Ahmad al-Assir and former pop singer-turned-fundamentalist Fadl Shaker, along with 52 other suspects, a judicial source said on Friday.

Judge Riad Abu Ghida charged the two with the murder and attempted murder of soldiers and civilians during the clashes in the Lebanese southern city of Sidoun last July.

The summer clashes between followers of al-Assir and the Lebanese army left at least 18 soldiers and 11 gunmen dead, AFP reported.

Al-Assir and Shaker, along with other supporters, have been on the run and out of the spotlight since then.

Accusations of suspects include “having formed armed groups that attacked an institution of the state, the army, killed officers and soldiers, took explosive materials and light and heavy weapons and used them against the army," the indictment says.

Al-Assir had sternly opposed Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah movement, especially after the group decided to join forces with the Syrian regime in the country’s civil conflict.

The judge had referred the case and the suspects to the military tribunal, The Daily Star reported.