Tripoli Clashes Leave 12 Wounded

Twelve people were injured in gunbattles between rival neighborhoods in the northern city of Tripoli as sniper fire prevented motorists from using the Tripoli-Akkar highway, the National News Agency reported Saturday.

NNA said the clashes that erupted between mainly Alawite Jabal Mohsen and the majority Sunni area of al-Bakkar around midnight Friday spread to the al-Rifa, al-Mankoubeen, al-Shaarani, al-Hara al-Barraniyeh, Souq al-Qamh and Syria street in Bab al-Tabbaneh.

The army fired back at the source of gunfire, the agency said.

The army command confirmed the report saying the military continued on Saturday to carry out patrols in the tense areas of Tripoli, set up roadblocks and raid the sites where the gunmen are hiding.

“Several suspects were detained and a large quantity of light ammunition was seized,” the army said in a statement.

Three soldiers and several civilians were injured in the incident, the army communique said.

Also Friday, a gunfight erupted between young men from Bab al-Tabbaneh and a family in al-Zahriyeh but the army contained the incident and conducted patrols in the area.

The international highway that links Tripoli with the northern district of Akkar also witnessed sniper fire in the areas of Duwwar Abu Ali and al-Mallouleh, NNA said.

Motorists were forced to take secondary roads to escape the fire, the agency added.

The fighting was condemned by al-Mustaqbal MP Khaled al-Daher, who said during a press conference that “Tripoli’s residents reject gunfights."

He stressed however that mainly Sunni residents of Bab al-Tabbaneh did not return fire when attacked by Jabal Mohsen, whose residents are followers of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Addressing Prime Minister Najib Miqati, the Akkar lawmaker said: “Your cabinet is not serving any team in Lebanon.”

“It is a government of failure … that harms the Lebanese people and has only one objective of serving the Syrian regime,” he said.

Al-Daher added that Miqati should resign to preserve his dignity and Lebanon’s honor.

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