Naharnet

Tripoli Clashes Persist as Gunmen Abduct Soldier, Army Evacuates Civilians, Continues to 'Eradicate Terrorism'

The army forces spread in Tripoli continued on Sunday its military operations in the city, where the clashes were renewed with the armed groups that kidnapped on Sunday morning one of the soldiers from his house.

Meanwhile, the army confirmed to continue eliminating the terrorists.

Media reported that, “a ceasefire declaration in al-Medea after calls from the Muslim Scholars Committee and after the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian called the Army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji,” but the army sources denied it.

Military sources to LBCI: No agreement on a cease-fire in Tripoli and what is happening is only a process to facilitate the exit of civilians.

“A cease-fire will not happen between the regular army and armed groups that could exploit any truce to attack again on the army,” it added.

“We will continue our operations until we eliminate all terrorist acts and the rumors about an attempts to eject the gunmen is not true,” said the army.

After cautious calmness prevailed in the city for some time, the clashes on the Syria Street borders, Souk al-Khoudar, Souk al-Ghourabaa and al-Ahmar Square and the Souk al-Kameh, according to the media.

"20 ambulance cars inside them dozens of paramedics to the places of clashes in al-Tabbaneh, to evacuate the wounded, and help whoever needs help," the media reported.

Earlier on Sunday the army continued its fighting against armed groups in the northern city of Tripoli and the nearby regions as it revealed that gunmen abducted a soldier from the Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood.

It added in a statement that it was also continuing its deployment in the neighborhood and responding to the sources of gunfire by the gunmen.

Its deployment was accompanied by raids against the positions of gunmen.

It later announced that gunmen kidnapped First Adjutant Fayez al-Ammoury from his residence in Bab al-Tabbaneh.

Efforts are underway to release him, the military added.

Meanwhile, the National News Agency reported on Sunday that the situation in Tripoli had deteriorated at dawn with clashes erupting in Bab al-Tabbaneh between the army and gunmen.

The fighting broke out in the vegetable market, Talaat al-Omari, al-Bisar, and Syria Street areas.

A child, Ali al-Sheikh, was killed in the clashes, while two people are being treated for wounds at the nearby government hospital.

Rocket-propelled grenades and light, medium, and heavy weapons were used in the unrest, added NNA.

The army had also employed helicopters to fly over the Bab al-Tabbaneh area.

Several houses and stores were damaged in the fighting.

Lawmakers and officials from the city soon held an emergency meeting to tackle the latest unrest.

On Sunday afternoon, the five wounded soldiers that were injured in the clashes in Tripoli arrived to the Islamic Hospital in the city.

Afterwards, Shadi al-Mawlawi who is part of the Osama Mansour Group in Tripoli, confirmed for LBCI that al-Amory "is in a good condition and required the army to stop the military operations in order to release him."

Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi called the security forces to secure a safe passage for the civilians, the wounded people and the ambulances in the clashes areas

Prime Minister Tammam Salam asked the Army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji to provide a safe passage to evacuate the wounded and remove the trapped civilians in Tripoli.

The Minister of Education announces the official closure prive and public schools in Tripoli and Minieh tomorrow for security reasons

MP Mohammed Kabbara said after the talks: “Tripoli will remain within the authority of the state and it rejects terrorism.”

“We voice our support to the government's security plan in the city that was adopted earlier this year,” he added after the meeting that was also attended by Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi and a delegation of the Muslim Scholars Committee.

“We condemn all assaults against the army,” he stressed.

The gatherers also demanded that “equality in implementing justice be adopted throughout Lebanon” and without discrimination.

The clashes in Tripoli erupted on Friday where two civilians and two gunmen were killed and around 20 troops and civilians were wounded.

For the past few months, the military has been coming under increasing armed attacks, mainly in northern Lebanon.

Z.A.


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