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Islamist at heart of sectarian unrest in Lebanon freed

Lebanese authorities free Islamist Shadi Al-Mawlawi, whose arrest earlier this month had triggered sectarian clashes between pro- and anti-Damascus groups in coastal city of Tripoli

AFP , Tuesday 22 May 2012
Shadi al-Mawlawi
Shadi al-Mawlawi (Internet)
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Views: 1324

An Islamist whose arrest sparked deadly sectarian clashes in Lebanon between pro- and anti-Syrian groups was released on bail Tuesday, a judicial official said.

The official said military judge Nabil Wehbe ordered Shadi al-Mawlawi released on bail of 500,000 Lebanese pounds (333 dollars).

Mawlawi's arrest on May 12 on charges of belonging to a terrorist organisation sparked deadly sectarian clashes in the northern port city of Tripoli.

His supporters say he was targeted because he was helping Syrian refugees fleeing the unrest in their country.

The clashes escalated further at the weekend and reached the capital Beirut following the killing of two anti-Sunni clerics who reportedly failed to stop at an army checkpoint in the north of the country.

Two people were killed and 18 wounded in Beirut as a result of the clashes.

The unrest has sparked fears that the violence in neighbouring Syria is spilling over into Lebanon.

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