Anti-Assad violence flares in southern Syria after cleric killed in blasts

September 5, 2015 3:13 PM

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Anti-Assad violence flares in southern Syria after cleric killed in blasts

BEIRUT -- Anti-government violence erupted Saturday in a southern Syrian province that had largely stayed on the sidelines of the country's civil war, a day after the killing of a prominent cleric in rare explosions that claimed the lives of at least 25 others, activists and pro-government media said.

Sheik Wahid Balous, a cleric of the Druze minority sect, was a prominent critic of President Bashar Assad, calling on youth in the Druze stronghold of Sweida province to refuse to serve in the military. He was also a critic of the Islamic State militants who have taken over a third of the country an...

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