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Shots fired at pro-Hezbollah Lebanese leaders

Sunni leaders survive assassination attempts after assailants fire on the imams' vehicles in two separate attacks.

Last Modified: 03 Jun 2013 12:26
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A pro-Hezbollah Sunni leader in Lebanon has survived an assassination attempt in Sidon.

Security officials said Sheik Maher Hammoud was walking from his home in the port city of Sidon to the al-Quds Mosque where he preaches early on Monday when unknown assailants in a moving car opened fire.

He was unhurt in the shooting, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. His bodyguards returned fire but no one on either side was hurt, they said.

Hammoud is a longtime supporter of the Shia Muslim Hezbollah group and Sidon is a majority Sunni Muslim city.

It was not clear who was behind the shooting. Hammoud told a Lebanese TV station that he assumed it was linked to his support for "Hezbollah's jihad" in Syria.

"I would assume it was an attempted assassination," Hammoud told al-Mayadeen TV, seen as sympathetic to the Syrian regime.

Elsewhere, security services reported another attack on a Sunni imam with connections to Hezbollah.

They said the car of Sheikh Ibrahim Mustafa Breidi came under machinegun attack in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa area and caught fire.

Lebanese factions support opposing sides in the civil war in neighbouring Syria and have often clashed inside Lebanon.

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