Death toll rises to 8 in Lebanon's second day clash

The latest round of fighting in the predominantly Sunni city had wounded at least 65 people, the medical sources said. Residents have fled, many taking refuge in schools.

Death toll rises to 8 in Lebanon's second day clash
Sectarian factions clashed in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli on Saturday for a second consecutive day and medical sources said the death toll from the fighting rose to eight.

The latest round of fighting in the predominantly Sunni city had wounded at least 65 people, the medical sources said. Residents have fled, many taking refuge in schools.

The interior minister promised firm action to halt the latest clashes. The dead included a woman, a boy and a man who was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade while driving his taxi.

Observers have linked bouts of violence in Tripoli since late June to lingering disputes between the Sunni-led parliamentary majority bloc and a rival alliance led by Shi'ite Hezbollah, which is close to Alawite groups in the north.

The sides' protracted political conflict was largely resolved in May by a Qatari-mediated deal. But disputes have continued. The rivals are now at odds over the policy statement of a national unity government which was finally formed on July 11 after weeks of wrangling over portfolios.

Alawits' numbers are small in Lebanon but they gained some political influence during an era of Syrian dominance that came to an end in 2005 after international pressure forced Damascus to withdraw troops from the country.

Reuters
Last Mod: 26 Temmuz 2008, 14:34
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