Tripoli Residents Take Stock of Gunbattles Damage

After the return of calm to the northern city of Tripoli on Monday those who hid in shelters or moved to other areas took stock of the damage caused by a week of deadly fighting between gunmen from rival neighborhoods.

The National News Agency said the majority of residents in the tense neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh, Jabal Mohsen, al-Baqqar, al-Rifa and al-Mankoubine returned to their homes as the army deployed heavily in the city.

The military however has not been able to act decisively.

The sectarian fighting between the two main neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen stretches back four decades to Lebanon's civil war. But it has become more frequent and increasingly lethal since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011. The two districts support opposite sides.

The latest round of gunbattles had been the bloodiest yet, leaving at least 31 dead and more than 200 wounded.

Several houses, shops and cars had also been destroyed in the week-long gunbattles that pitted Sunnis that back the revolution against Syrian President Bashar Assad and mostly Alawites who are from Assad's sect.

The international highway that links Tripoli to the northern district of Akkar, which had been blocked by the army to prevent further deaths from sniper fire, was reopened to traffic.

NNA said several schools also opened their doors and markets began seeing the usual buzz of shoppers.

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