Security officials: Pro-Hezbollah cleric escapes assassination attempt in south Lebanon

Lebanese security officials say unknown gunmen have tried to kill a prominent pro-Hezbollah Sunni cleric in the south of the country, but failed to hit him.

Sheik Maher Hammoud narrowly escaped an assassination attempt early Monday, they say. He was walking from his home in the port city of Sidon the al-Quds Mosque where he preaches when unknown assailants in a moving car opened fire. He was unhurt in the shooting, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Hammoud is a longtime supporter of the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group and Sidon is a majority Sunni Muslim city.

Lebanese factions support opposing sides in the civil war in neighboring Syria and have often clashed inside Lebanon.