Sunday, October 27, 2013

Toll of seven days of fighting in Lebanese city of Tripoli rises to 16

Map showing locations of Bab al-Tabbana and Jabal Muhsin in Tripoli
The toll of seven days of fighting between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli rose on Sunday to at least 16 dead and over 80 wounded. Sniper fire over the weekend claimed the lives of five people. The dead hailed from Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh, the two rival neighborhoods that have fought one another with increasing frequency since the uprising in neighboring Syria began.
The clashes in the city subsided overnight but sniper activity picked up in the morning on Syria Street, Al-Barranieyh and al-Baqqar neighborhoods and Jabal Mohsen.Gunfire also accompanied funeral processions for the victims of the recent violence.
The Army deployed heavily in the city in the morning hours as Refaat Eid, the head of the Jabal Mohsen-based Arab Democratic Party, urged his fighters to withdraw completely.
Army checkpoints were established along Syria Street, the line that divides the warring Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhoods, where the bulk of the fighting takes place.
The streets of Tripoli remained empty Sunday and shops in the city were closed for business.
The latest round of clashes between the predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh, which supports the uprising in Syria, and the mostly Alawite Jabal Mohsen, which backs the Damascus regime, broke out Monday after the appearance of Assad in a television interview in which he said the time is not ripe for a peace conference to try to resolve the 31-month conflict and also said he was ready to run for re-election in 2014. .

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