BEIRUT: At least 12 soldiers have been killed in less than 24 hours of fighting between the Lebanese military and Sunni radicals in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon, an army spokesman told AFP on Monday.

The deaths came in violent clashes between the army and supporters of Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir, a Salafi cleric known for his anti-Hezbollah views who has been increasingly critical of the Lebanese army.

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