At least four Lebanese soldier have been killed after followers of the extremist Salafist leader Ahmad al - Assir attacked Lebanese army patrols in southern city of Sidon.

According to our reporter al - Assir’s followers attacked army patrols in Aabra district and witnesses said number of killed and injured people could be higher.

Extremists also attacked Harat Seida district with rockets and shells, while gunfire could be heard around Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque where al - Assir has occupied and calls himself to be its Imam.

Lebanese army soldiers do not get close to the area near the mosque which al - Assir calls “the security square” but his followers attacked soldiers because they were on patrol in surrounding areas.

Al - Assir who has established a circle of power for himself in Sidon with the help of his foreign supporters, has turned the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque as a base for collecting and training terrorist fighters.

He had announced previously that he intends to form a “resistance brigade” in Sidon.

In November 2012, he claimed he is forming his armed group to fight against the Israeli regime which has always been a threat to people living in southern Lebanon, but he has also been making offensive rhetoric against Hezbollah.

His armed followers do not let army forces enter the mosque area and occasionally attack people or army soldiers.