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Militant group in Lebanon issues warning to Sunnis

Updated Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 | 6:23 a.m.

BEIRUT (AP) — An al-Qaida-inspired group in Lebanon is warning the country's Sunni Muslims to stay away from areas dominated by their Shiite brethren.

The Nusra Front in Lebanon says it intends to attack strongholds of the Iranian-backed, Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah. That effectively means any Shiite area.

The warning originally was made Friday on Twitter. It was reposted Saturday to websites used by militant groups.

The Nusra Front in Lebanon takes its name from the powerful al-Qaida-linked group fighting in Syria against the rule of President Bashar Assad.

The group has claimed responsibility for two small bombing attacks targeting Lebanese Shiites in January that killed six people.

Hard-line Sunni groups increasingly have been targeting Lebanon's Shiite minority, apparently as punishment for Hezbollah gunmen fighting alongside Assad's forces in Syria.