1 Dead, 7 Hurt in Fierce Clashes between Salafists, Pro-Hizbullah Group in Tripoliإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
One person was killed and seven others were hurt as fierce clashes spread to the heart of the northern city of Tripoli on Thursday, after a security plan by the Lebanese army managed to relatively contain the violence in the flashpoint districts of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen.
The army deployed in the souk area, restoring a tense calm four hours after the clash broke out between Salafists who support the revolt in Syria and pro-Damascus fighters, a security official told Agence France Presse.
Two of the wounded were soldiers, though the identity of the man killed in the firefight in the markets of central Tripoli had not been confirmed, the official said on condition of anonymity.
"A major clash in Tripoli's souks broke out between Salafists and fighters loyal to Hizbullah," a security source told AFP earlier on Thursday.
It is the first battle since 2008 in central Tripoli, although frequent Syria-related violence has raged in other districts.
It comes after some three weeks of sectarian fighting in the flashpoint Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhoods, during which around 40 people were killed.
The army deployed in force on Tripoli's main streets on Thursday, the official said on condition of anonymity, although the soldiers stayed clear of the strife-torn areas.
The central Tripoli battle saw Salafists fight members of the Syrian National Socialist Party, which supports the Assad regime.
Al-Jadeed television said “clashes between the al-Nashar and Hajar families in Tripoli's internal markets have left casualties.”
Al-Manar television said fighting erupted in Tripoli's gold market and the areas near Khan al-Saboun.
Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5) said ambulances rushed to the areas of the clashes and “the situation in Tripoli's internal markets is heading for further escalation.”