Monday, March 25, 2013

Fighting in N-Lebanese city Tripoli claims 12 lives

A Lebanese Sunni gunman aims his rifle during clashes between the Sunni Muslim Bab al-Tabbaneh and Alawite Jabal Mohsen neighbourhood in Al- Koubbeh, in Tripoli, March 22, 2013. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim
Intense fighting over a period of three days in the northern city of Tripoli has claimed the lives of 12 people, security sources said Sunday, as the Lebanese Army continued its drive to end the deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad.
The sources said most of the fatalities, including a Lebanese solider, were the result of sniper fire, adding that some 25 others were wounded.
Saturday night saw intense clashes between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, ending a tenuous cease-fire put in place a day earlier.
The fighting between Bab al-Tabbaneh, a neighborhood with a majority Sunni population that supports the Syrian uprising, and Jabal Mohsen, where Lebanon’s Alawite community resides, tapered off in the early hours of Sunday.
At around 9 p.m. Saturday, the Lebanese Army carried out several raids in the two neighborhoods, as part of their plan to clear the streets of gunmen.
While not apprehending any of the combatants, soldiers did confiscate large quantities of weapons used in the battles, including rocket-propelled grenades and machineguns.
Clashes between the two sides renewed at around midnight and continued for a period of two hours before tapering off.
Residents of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen have been fighting on and off since 2008. However, tensions and clashes between both the sides have increased in frequency and intensity since the Syrian uprising began in 2011.

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