At Least Six Killed as Clashes Escalate in Tripoliإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Four people were killed in the northern city of Tripoli in overnight clashes between rival gunmen, the result of the spillover of the Syrian war, the state-run National News Agency reported on Saturday.
NNA said the city witnessed the deadly gunbattles on Friday night, but the clashes subsided after 1:00 am.
And on Saturday, three more people were killed in the fighting as clashes intensified in the evening.
Again, gunmen from the districts of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen used machine-guns and Rocket Propelled Grenades, leaving four people dead overnight.
But the intensity of the fighting decreased in the early hours of Saturday. The hotspots, including the area of al-Mankoubine witnessed only intermittent gunfire.
The army again responded to the sources of fire and its forces patrolled in the area, NNA said.
But later on Saturday, the NNA reported that Mohammed al-Jundi and Abdul Rahman Hamzeh were wounded in sniper fire in the northern city.
It noted that al-Jundi is in critical condition.
But the same source then said the injured man died of his wounds.
Radio Voice of Lebanon (93.3) remarked that Hamzeh was also killed.
And late on Saturday, the NNA added that Omar Abbas died in Bab al-Tabbaneh.
It noted that the fighting has intensified in the city in the evening.
The deaths have likely brought the toll of the latest round of clashes to 12. Dozens more have been injured.
Three of the injuries were reported early on Saturday when two men were wounded from stray bullets during the funeral of two men killed on Friday.
A third person was wounded from sniper fire.
Meanwhile, LBCI television announced that the vehicle of its team covering the clashes in Tripoli was hit by sniper fire.
"But no crew was injured in the incident," it noted.
Civil society activists held a sit-in later in the day, urging the state to impose security in Tripoli and asking the judiciary to issue verdicts against those who plotted and carried out the deadly mosque bombings in August.
Military units were seen on Saturday morning setting up a checkpoint at Abu Ali roundabout that links Tripoli with the northern district of Akkar. It checked IDs and inspected vehicles that took the major international highway.
The market was also open in areas that are not close to the hotspots. Shops, banks and businesses were back to work as usual but the Lebanese University campus in al-Qobbeh and schools near the tense areas remained closed.
Top officials have said that they have given the green light to the armed forces to bring the situation in Tripoli under control.
The fighting broke out Monday while an interview with Syrian President Bashar Assad was being aired on al-Mayadeen television.
Residents of Bab al-Tabbaneh support the anti-Assad revolt, while those in Jabal Mohsen back Assad, and both sides have fought frequently since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011.