Sunday, June 3, 2012

Syrian unrest again spills over to northern Lebanon: 13 killed in street battles in Tripoli

 Gunmen in action in Tripoli (Reuters).

The Syrian unrest again spilled over to the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli this weekend.  It is not the first time the Alawite neighbourhood of  Jabal Mohsen (supporters of the Assad-regime) fought battles with the predominantly Sunni area Bab al-Tabaneh (adversaries of Assad). The Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star:    
A cautious calm set in Sunday morning in the tense north Lebanese neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen in Tripoli after intensive overnight clashes that raised the weekend death toll to at least 13 people and the number of wounded to 49. 
Residents said the overnight fighting with assault rifles, machine guns, grenades and mortar bombs were the fiercest in the second largest Lebanese city since the height of the 1975-1990 Civil War, in a growing sign that the conflict in Syria is spilling over into its tiny neighbor.
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, following a meeting with security officials at Tripoli’s serial that ended near midnight, said the Lebanese Army had been given the green light to move in to the conflict area and that a security plan would be implemented starting 5 a.m. Sunday.
It was not the first fight of this kind: In May, 11 people were killed and over 100 wounded in three days of battles between the rival sides, prompting several Gulf countries to warn their citizens against travel to Lebanon. Also in February the two neighbourhoods in Tripoli clashed.

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