Syria-fuelled violence claims 3 lives in Tripoli

Tripoli residents said the sounds of heavy gunfire and rocket explosions echoed across Lebanon's second city from midnight to 6 am.

Syria-fuelled violence claims 3 lives in Tripoli

World Bulletin / News Desk

Three people were killed overnight in fighting in the north Lebanese city of Tripoli, security sources said on Sunday, raising to nine the death toll in 24 hours of violence fuelled by sectarian tensions over Syria's civil war.

The clashes between minority, which supports Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, and majority who back the Syrian rebels, is the latest round of violence which has killed more than 100 people in the Mediterranean city this year.

Gun battles have broken out five times since March, killing dozens of people, and twin car bombs at mosques in Tripoli killed 42 people in August.

Tripoli residents said the sounds of heavy gunfire and rocket explosions echoed across Lebanon's second city from midnight to 6 am.

The city was quieter after dawn, they said, with soldiers patrolling otherwise empty streets of the rival neighbourhoods, but occasional bursts of gunfire continued.

Security sources said the dead were all from the Bab al-Tabbaneh district. Dozens of people have been wounded since the battle erupted on Saturday morning, including nine soldiers and several people from the neighbourhood of Jebel Mohsen, they said.

Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati held talks with Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and other security officials on Saturday to discuss how to end the violence, which erupted despite the deployment of soldiers in both districts.

Around 150 relatives of the victims of the August car bombs protested in a Tripoli square on Sunday, calling for a campaign of civil disobedience until the suspects behind the attacks were held to account.

They called for electricity and water supplies to be cut off from Jebel Mohsen and vowed they would not back down on their demands.

"The story in Tripoli is complex and hard," Interior Minister Marwan Charbel told Hezbollah's Al-Manar television on Sunday. "The conflict is not new, or from the last couple of years. It is from the 80s and 90s."

"Those differences are still there - the people change but the thinking is the same."

Last Mod: 01 Aralık 2013, 13:58
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