4 Dead in Tripoli Battles as Miqati Slams Attempts to Shove Lebanon into Regional Fireإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
At least four people were killed and dozens others wounded, including an army officer and four troops, as clashes and sniper fire renewed on Tuesday in the rival Tripoli districts of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh.
"The clashes are continuing," an army spokesman said in the early evening, while the military said in a statement that soldiers were "chasing gunmen and have seized a quantity of guns, bombs and ammunition."
Al-Jadeed television said the intensity of the clashes in the evening prevented medics from reaching a man who was wounded by sniper fire on al-Mankoubin Bridge.
MTV said “young man Imad Ahmed Ismail was killed after three sniper gunshots struck his chest in Bab al-Tabbaneh.”
The National News Agency reported that “young woman Manal Sayyed was killed by a headshot as sniper fire targeted her residence in Bab al-Tabbaneh.”
Meanwhile, al-Jadeed said the army called in armored reinforcements to the area of the clashes.
Earlier on Tuesday, a man identified as Zakaria Khodr al-Omar was killed in Bab al-Tabbaneh’s al-Hamwi Street.
A security official told Agence France Presse that three people were killed in Jabal Mohsen, without identifying them.
The violence was centered around the aptly named Syria Street, the symbolic "dividing line" between the rival districts of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen.
Fires blazed in several buildings of the rival areas, where civilians evacuated their homes, an AFP correspondent said.
NNA said one of the blazes was sparked by shelling that targeted Jabal Mohsen’s al-Saydeh area.
A number of RPGs hit al-Zahriyeh area, which is relatively outside the area of the clashes, wounding a man called Youssef Youssef.
The National News Agency said sniper fire was targeting Syria Street, al-Nasseri Mosque, Souk al-Qameh and Barrad al-Bissar, noting that the international highway linking Tripoli to Akkar was still cut off due to sniper fire.
The agency added that 17 wounded people were rushed to the Islamic Charitable Hospital in Tripoli and announced the death of Ahmed Hassan Mahmoud.
The gunbattles shattered the cautious calm that the residents enjoyed at dawn Tuesday, a day after the fighting, which involved the use of machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades, left one person dead.
Residents were trapped in their houses in the areas of Syria Street, al-Nasseri mosque, Rifa, al-Mankoubin and in Mallouleh near the highway that links Tripoli to the district of Akkar.
Prime Minister Najib Miqati warned “against sliding into the fires raging around Lebanon.”
“But it’s obvious that several parties in Lebanon are seeking to involve Lebanon in this conflict,” he said in a statement issued by his press office.
Miqati urged residents of his hometown “not to be dragged into battles that only lead to death and devastation.”
The residents of mainly Alawite Jabal Mohsen support Syrian President Bashar Assad and the majority Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh backs the revolution against the regime.