Lebanese army units battled followers of a hard-line Sunni cleric holed up in a mosque complex in a southern port city on Monday, the second day of fighting that has left at least 16 soldiers dead, the military said.
The clashes in Sidon, Lebanon's third-largest city 25 miles south of Beirut, are the latest bout of violence in Lebanon linked to the conflict in neighboring Syria.
They are the bloodiest yet involving the army — at least two of those killed are officers. The Lebanese media has depicted the clashes as a test for the state in containing armed groups that have taken up the cause of the warring sides in Syria. Lebanon's sectarian makeup mirrors that of Syria, its smaller neighbor.