Mufti al-Shaar Warns of Situation in Tripoli, Fears Outside Intervention

The Mufti of Tripoli and the North Sheikh Malek al-Shaar expressed fear on Friday over the ongoing situation in Tripoli a day after tension soared again in the northern city, jeopardizing a security plan that the army began implementing to end gunbattles between rival neighborhoods in the city.

“Thursday's clashes with the army is an attempt to topple the security plan in Tripoli or a conspiracy is being weaved,” al-Shaar told al-Liwaa newspaper.

He slammed the officials inaction, noting that “they still don't realize how delicate is the situation in Tripoli.”

Hundreds of policemen from different parts of Lebanon have been sent to Tripoli to help improve security, working under the army's command.

The army has been authorized to take charge of security in Tripoli for six months following the deadly sectarian clashes by rival sides stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria.

Al-Shaar said that “if intruders are entering the northern city then we will have to face a greater disaster.”

He revealed that he ordered the Imams of mosques in the northern city to welcome the role of the Lebanese army during Friday's sermon and to call for calm.

Al-Shaar reiterated that “those who are behind the twin bombings that targeted al-Salam and al-Taqwa mosques must be punished.”

Tensions ascended in the city in August when twin car bombings hit Sunni mosques and left hundreds of casualties.

A soldier was killed and 6 others were wounded on Thursday evening after gunmen protested raids by troops across the city, accusing the military of targeting the Sunni sect.

On Wednesday night, unknown assailants tossed two stun grenades at Syria street, which separates the rival neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh.

At least 10 people have been killed and 100 others wounded in clashes between the rival Tripoli neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen since last week.

The latest round of violence erupted last week when Jabal Mohsen residents were shot in their feet in vengeful sectarian attacks.

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