Clashes Renew, Army Deploys after 4 Die in Rival Tripoli Districts Fightingإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Four people, including a Lebanese soldier, were killed and at least 25 injured on Sunday in a gunfight between the residents of rival neighborhoods in the northern port city of Tripoli as the area witnessed intermittent clashes, the army and media reports said.
"The Tripoli clashes left at least four people dead and 25 wounded, most of them civilians," reported al-Manar television.
State-run National News Agency said clashes renewed between Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen in a fierce manner at around 10:30 p.m., with Energa-type rifle-launched anti-tank grenades and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) widely used.
LBC television said an Energa grenade hit a high school for girls in al-Zahriyeh area, causing no casualties.
Army troops, mainly from the Commando Regiment, began deploying in the afternoon in the city's Syria Street and the areas that witnessed clashes at dawn, state-run National News Agency said.
MTV said a clash erupted between the army and gunmen in Bab al-Tabbaneh after troops entered one of its neighborhoods.
NNA reported later that citizens Mustafa Ali Mustafa and Rami Saad Harrouq were wounded by gunfire in Syria Street.
A number of residents blocked the al-Mallouleh roundabout and Syria Street's Abu Ali roundabout to protest the wounding of the two, said NNA.
Meanwhile, LBC television reported that “Islamists have refused to end their sit-in at the Abdul Hamid Karami Square in Tripoli,” as MTV reported “the sound of heavy gunfire coming from Al-Nour Square.”
The fighting erupted at 2:00 am after an Energa-type rocket fell in the area of al-Qobbeh, a largely Sunni district hostile to the Syrian regime, killing a man identified as Issa Ali, the National News Agency reported.
The rocket attack was followed by a gunbattle between the mainly Sunni residents of Qobbeh and Bab al-Tabbaneh, and the Alawites of Jabal Mohsen, who support Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The fighting with Energa rockets and Rocket Propelled Grenades lasted from 4:00 am till 7:00 am, NNA said, adding that sporadic bursts of rockets machineguns were heard afterwards.
Lebanese soldier Faisal Hussein Abdullah was killed by sniper fire at the Mallouleh roundabout of Tripoli as he was heading to his work from the Bekaa to his hometown in Akkar, the military command said in a communique.
Eighteen-year-old Mahmoud al-Duhaibi’s body was also found on the side of a road at the northern entrance of the city, NNA said.
The gunbattles and sniper attacks left at least nine people injured, including a child and two soldiers.
Lebanese army commandoes began deploying in Syria street to stop the fighting which came against the backdrop of the General Security Department’s arrest on Saturday of Shadi al-Mawlawi for allegedly contacting a terrorist organization.
His seizure drew the condemnation of Islamists who blocked the northern and southern roads into Tripoli and set up camp at the city’s southern entrance.
The army communique said the military conducted patrols and set up roadblocks in Tripoli and vowed to “deal firmly with those who tamper with the city’s security and stability no matter to which side they belong to.”
While conducting patrols in the area of the fighting, two soldiers were injured in a sniper attack, the army said.
Security sources told LBC TV network on Sunday that the General Security Department handed al-Mawlawi to the judiciary, which will release him if no evidence was found of his link to any terrorist organization.
But judicial sources denied the report in remarks to Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5).
President Michel Suleiman called for an emergency meeting for the Higher Defense Council on Sunday afternoon.