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Lebanese army detonates booby traps after clashes with Sunni militia

Bilal Hussein / AP

Black smoke rises from the Bilal bin Rabbah Mosque where Sunni cleric Sheik Ahmad al-Assir preaches, while Lebanese troops detonate booby traps, in the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon, on June 25.

Sharif Karim / Reuters

A Lebanese army soldier secures the area as he stands near a damaged car, in Abra near Sidon, southern Lebanon, on June 25.


A Lebanese woman mourns during the funeral of a solider killed during fighting, in Bekka, eastern Beirut, Lebanon, on June 25. Arabic on the poster reads, "martyr George Bosaad."

By Bassem Mroue, The Associated Press

BEIRUT — Lebanese troops detonated booby traps at a complex captured from followers of a hardline Sunni cleric on Tuesday, securing the area after two days of fighting that left dozens dead in the port city of Sidon.

Soldiers who blocked off several office and residential buildings around the mosque where Ahmad al-Assir once preached told reporters they were clearing the complex of explosives. An Associated Press photographer on the scene heard several explosions and saw black smoke billowing during the operation.

Official reports said at least 17 soldiers were killed and 50 were wounded in the fighting while more than 20 of al-Assir's supporters died in the battle, according to a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk to reporters. Read the full story.

Joseph Eid / AFP - Getty Images

A rocket and bullet-riddled building is seen behind the Bilal bin Rabah mosque in the Abra district of Sidon on June 25.

Mohammed Zaatari / AP

A Lebanese man breaks the glass of his damaged vehicle, near the Bilal bin Rabbah mosque where Sunni cleric Sheik Ahmad al-Assir once preached, in Sidon, on June 25.

Joseph Eid / AFP - Getty Images

Residents inspect their damaged shops near the Bilal bin Rabah mosque in the Abra district of Sidon on June 25.