Two Killed, Four Wounded in Tripoli Clashes

Two people were killed on Saturday and six others were wounded in clashes in the northern city of Tripoli after clashes erupted between al-Baqqar neighborhood and Jabal Mohsen.

One person was killed by an explosive device he was handling, a security source told Agence France Presse.

The dead man, Abdullah al-Shmaytiyeh, died when the home-made bomb detonated prematurely, the source said adding that two other people were wounded in the blast in the west Tripoli neighborhood of al-Baqqar.

Following the incident, gun battles broke out between Baqqar, a Sunni Muslim neighborhood, and Jabal Mohsen, an Alawite district, wounding four residents.

Another person was killed, identified as Khaled al-Trabulsi, in the sniper activity that took place between the two neighborhoods.

The state-run National News Agency reporter earlier that the clash initially started as a dispute with the army, but escalated into an armed clash when gunmen intervened to resolve it.

was killed and an unidentified woman wounded in the ensuing shootout in Tripoli's al-Baqqar neighborhood.

Soon after the incident, youths blocked the main road in al-Baqqar.

Violence has regularly broken out in Tripoli, a majority Sunni city, between Sunni residents and the minority Alawites -- an offshoot of Shiite Islam -- of Jabal Mohsen.

The clashes have become more frequent and deadly since the beginning of the Syrian uprising, which pits the Sunni-led opposition against the regime of President Bashar Assad, who is Alawite.

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