SIDON, Lebanon: The open-ended sit-in led by controversial Sheikh Ahmad Assir in the southern coastal city of Sidon continued Sunday for a fourth day in a row awaiting a decision later in the day to either cancel or relocate the demonstration.

Assir vowed Saturday that Sunday’s gathering would be the biggest yet as Sidon businessmen prepared to confront him peacefully over his open-ended sit-in against Hezbollah’s arms.

Security sources told The Daily Star Saturday that Assir’s plans for Sunday include contacting figures across the country to carry out similar protests against Hezbollah’s arsenal.

They also said that security forces would prevent Assir from blocking any more roads, particularly if his aim is the southern sea road.

On Saturday, Sidon businessmen organized a peaceful protest saying that Assir’s sit-in was negatively affecting their businesses.

Sidon’s political and religious leaders united Friday in calling for the reopening of the road.

Their calls were echoed by Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani and the Sidon MPs of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Future parliamentary bloc.

Assir has repeatedly criticized Hezbollah’s arsenal and demanded the resistance party surrender its weapons.




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