3 Dead, 4 Hurt in Tripoli Clashes, Army Readies to Enter Jabal Mohsen as Part of Security Plan

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Three people were killed and four others were wounded on Saturday as sniper activity and clashes renewed between the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen in the northern city of Tripoli.

"The army is readying to enter Jabal Mohsen and declare that the neighborhood is under its authority ahead of the withdrawal of all fighters from the streets," state-run National News Agency reported.

It said the army was expected to enter the district at any time between 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m.

"Today's death toll from the Tripoli sniper activity has risen to three after two people were killed in al-Dabbagha," Radio Voice of Lebanon (100.5) reported earlier on Saturday.

"Three people were wounded in fresh Tripoli clashes – Ghaith Hashem al-Dabbagh and Abdul Rahman al-Nahhas in Bab al-Tabbaneh, and Fatima Hussein Mustafa in al-Baqqar," NNA reported in the evening.

Al-Mayadeen television said several people were wounded in Bab al-Tabbaneh, one critically.

"The Tripoli areas of al-Riva, al-Baqqar and Jabal Mohsen are witnessing fierce clashes, in which RPGs are being used heavily, and the army is firing back at the sources of gunfire," NNA reported.

It later said sniper activity intensified on all frontiers between Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, with bullets reaching al-Zahriyeh district, which is outside the area of clashes.

The explosion of a rocket-propelled grenade was heard in the vicinity of Abu Ali Roundabout, NNA said.

In the afternoon, a large number of army commandos entered with their vehicles Syria Street, which separates the rival districts, in a bid to pacify the situations, the National News Agency said.

But a few hours later, NNA said "clashes with light- and medium-caliber weapons erupted on all frontiers in Tripoli, particularly al-Shaarani, Hariri Project, al-Barraniyeh, Bab al-Tabbaneh's Syria Street, al-Mallouleh, al-Mankoubin and Jabal Mohsen."

It added that army troops were continuing to fire back at the sources of gunfire.

Earlier, an unidentified assailant hurled two hand grenades on the Bab al-Tabbaneh area of Baal al-Darawish.

Arab Democratic Party media officer Abdul Latif Saleh had announced that Fouad Chahine was killed by a sniper shot in Bab al-Tabbaneh.

Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) identified the victim as Jamal Chahine.

The National News Agency meanwhile reported that Hanan Maarouf was wounded in the renewal of the violence.

LBCI television had stated earlier that three people were injured in the unrest on Saturday.

The sniper shots also targeted the international highway that links Tripoli to Akkar at the Nahr Abou Ali and Mallouleh roundabout.

Security forces have since cordoned off the area for the people's safety.

Later, NNA said two hand grenades were hurled on Syria Street, causing no casualties.

Calm had engulfed the city on Saturday morning after overnight clashes between Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen that followed the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Miqati.

NNA said that private and public schools were closed in the neighborhoods that witnessed unrest.

Six people, including a soldier, were killed in the Tripoli clashes that broke out on Wednesday.

The gunfight erupted when a soldier was wounded along with his brother after gunmen entered the state hospital in the area of al-Qobbeh and opened fire at him.

Tripoli has been witnessing deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of the Damascus regime for several years now.

The majority of Bab al-Tabbaneh residents are Sunni and back the revolution against Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Jabal Mohsen's residents are mainly Alawites from Assad's sect.

Comments 7
Thumb phoenician 23 March 2013, 11:42

Partition please.

Thumb LebCynic 23 March 2013, 14:06

All this would stop if the external meddling stops from the gulf countries. Their aim is to turn Tripoli to a conservative Islamic hub.

Missing helicopter 23 March 2013, 18:40

As long as the dead are fighters, vacate the civilians, seal the area and let them finish each other off. I hate for civilians and soldiers to die.

Missing maroun_khoury 23 March 2013, 23:29

You cant be a christian flamethrower as you pretend because in christianity, it is believed that ra7mi comes only to those who took jesus as their saviour and bouti did not do that so why would jesus show him mercy?

Missing helicopter 24 March 2013, 00:03

Agree but they are not the only ones .... we have many Halls of Shame unfortunately.

Missing peace 24 March 2013, 00:04

the media are exaggerating things. i went to tripoli yesterday and the city was not as dangerous as they pretend in the media...

Thumb hellenas 24 March 2013, 07:01

Heard all this for 20 years, and lived it for 15. Still the the dailies here, because it is better than a soap opera.

I believe in Secrualism in Lebanon. There is NO need for a democracy, and people who think they will have it, are very blind people.

In fact, I believe as Moses led the Jews out of Egypt - back to Isreal, it is time the Christians of the Middle East say..I don't want to live that way, and come home to a Christian country - which is Lebanon.