At Least 10 Dead in Tripoli Clashes as Heavy Weapons Used for 1st Time

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  • W460
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At least nine people were killed on Thursday in ongoing clashes between the rival Tripoli neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, as different caliber mortars in addition to flare bombs were introduced to the battle for the first time.

The fighting intensified as the night fell on the city after intermittent clashes throughout the day, amid several futile attempts to reach a ceasefire.

“We're about to reach a ceasefire decision to which everyone would commit and which would allow the implementation of a comprehensive security plan and a broader deployment by the Lebanese army on the frontier between the two districts and on all fighting frontiers, in order to restore security and stability in the city,” MP Mohammed Kabbara announced in the afternoon.

MTV reported that caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati had invited the leaders of the fighting frontiers to a meeting at his residence and that they refused to attend it, but the premier's office denied the report.

The National News Agency said two people were killed in the evening in Jabal Mohsen, identifying them as Ali al-Ali and Suleiman al-Ali.

“Stray bullets reached al-Tal, Abi Samra and al-Qobbeh, sparking a major state of fear among citizens,” NNA said.

Later, Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5) said Milad Hadshiti was killed when a sniper shot struck him in the head at the Hariri Project area in al-Qobbeh.

The security forces will take the necessary measures to restore clam in Tripoli within the coming few hours, NNA said.

Earlier, the army said three troops were wounded when an army base in the Dahr al-Mughr area came under gunfire. Two other soldiers were also injured, one critically, when their civilian car came under gunfire outside the entrance of the North's military hospital.

“Army units responded to the sources of gunfire and launched a major crackdown to arrest the perpetrators while the wounded were transported to hospital for treatment,” said a statement issued by the Army Command.

A security source had told Agence France Presse: "Very violent fighting took place last night until 5:00 am that killed six people and wounded 40. The clashes and shelling affected several areas of the city, including the center,"

NNA said the gunbattles witnessed for the first time the use of 60 and 81 mm caliber mortar shells.

The bickering parties in the neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh, whose residents are mostly Sunni, and the Alawite Jabal Mohsen used flares to locate the sources of the shelling.

Other heavy weapons were also used for the first in the fighting in Tripoli, which has in the past years witnessed deadly gunbattles.

But the war in Syria worsened the security situation there after Bab al-Tabbaneh residents backed the revolution against Syrian President Bashar Assad and the families of Jabal Mohsen supported him.

Smoke was seen billowing into the sky of Tripoli in the morning after several shops and homes were damaged.

The battles that engulfed the city for the fifth day, kept schools and most companies and markets closed.

Troops have been deployed across the city since the outbreak, but this has failed to halt the fighting.

Caretaker Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn briefed on Wednesday President Michel Suleiman on the army's plan to restore security, said a statement issued by Baabda palace.

No further details were released.

The latest violence began as Assad's regime launched a withering assault on the rebel stronghold of Qusayr, near the border with Lebanon.

Hizbullah has been sending fighters across the border to help Syrian regime forces attack Qusayr.

In 1985, the Syrian army clashed with Sunni groups in Tripoli, and bombarded areas of the city, during Lebanon's civil war.

"The political tool used to wage the war is the same, it is the Arab Democratic Party," said Amin al-Qabbout, the municipal official of the Sunni al-Qobbeh area, referring to the party linked to Tripoli's Alawite community.

The ADP has, in return, accused Sunni groups of starting the fighting.

In an interview on LBCI in the evening, ADP leader Rifaat Eid said "Tripoli would only be hit when Jabal Mohsen ceases to exist and Jabal Mohsen is protecting it," denying as baseless media reports claiming mortars were being fired on the city.

Comments 32
Thumb mckinl 23 May 2013, 11:06

The situation will only get worse. The Army must be sent in to disarm all the Salafists in Tripoli ... Failing that the fighting will only spread.

If and when Qaysar falls Tripoli and Northern Lebanon in general will be awash in Salafist jihadis spoiling for revenge ...

Thumb arzak-ya-libnan 23 May 2013, 11:15

Either ALL factions disarm or no one will. It's that simple. Why is what's good for one not good for others? May all extremists rot in hell for all I care. As long as there is a single armed party ( not specifying or singling out) then to hell with it. Every party should arm. We learnt nothing. And deserve what we sow now.

Thumb mckinl 23 May 2013, 11:32

Bab al-Tabbaneh must disarm first. Jabal Mohsen has less than 1/10th the population and is surrounded ...

It is the Salafists that are instigating and escalating the fighting and with Qaysar falling Tripoli and Akkar will be flooded with angry Salafists.

Thumb geha 23 May 2013, 11:53

jabal Mohsen will be wiped out totally.
they represent an island loyal to the assad regime, and they will not last.
this has nothing to do with salafis rather it has to do with the killer regime.

Thumb arzak-ya-libnan 23 May 2013, 11:54

Unfortunately that's not how it works. Either all or none. You think they are willingly going to give up their weapons while others are armed? If its a matter of population then let the Shia start.
And now because qusayr is falling it is the Sunnis that instigated. Does that mean for the past 2-3 years when the rebels were heading from victory to victory the alawis were the instigators?
Disarming ALL factions is not going to happen unfortunately. So let all factions arm. One way or the other it balances the playing field.

Thumb mckinl 23 May 2013, 11:55

@ geha

You demonstrated perfectly the reason Jabal Mohsen needs to be armed. It is this kind of mentality that is threatening Lebanon itself ...

Thumb mckinl 23 May 2013, 11:57

@ arzak-ya-libnan says : "So let all factions arm."

It looks to me as if all the factions are armed ... and what good is it doing but tearing Lebanon apart ...

Thumb arzak-ya-libnan 23 May 2013, 12:05

No good whatsoever. I agree 100% mc. That's why I have always been an advocate of no weapons with ANYONE. But one party refused. I cannot blame others for arming. Is this the best for Lebanon? Absolutely not. Is it logical for others to arm when it is halal for some. I can't blame them. I've always said. Weapons with some will give the others an excuse to arm. And here we have it. Allah yistor.

Default-user-icon elie (Guest) 23 May 2013, 16:54

couldn't agree with you more

Missing 23 May 2013, 18:46

mc - The people of Tripoli do not want any armed faction (be it in Bab Al Tebbaneh or Jabal Mohsin). But in a choice between the criminal gangs in Jabal Mohsin (who participated in horrendous massacres against the people of Tripoli and till very recently dominated the city through a series of extortion and smuggling rackets) and the Salafists, they will take the salafists. If you expect that the victims will accept to disarm first, then you are wrong. As for Geha, the overwhelming majority of the people do not want to see Jabal Mohsin wiped out. They want to see this criminal gang removed from there. However, they want the army to do so and maintain the peace. If the shelling of Tripoli continues, there will be a time where the majority will turn and demand radical actions. I hope we never arrive to this.

Missing greatpierro 23 May 2013, 12:13

Why only the salafist? Why not every body.

Thumb mckinl 23 May 2013, 12:21

First the Salafists ... because they represent the greatest danger to Lebanon and prove it with increasing violence ...

Hezbollah should be incorporated into the Army as separate units under civilian control ...

Missing mohammad_ca 23 May 2013, 15:33

really the salafist started the 2006 war and the salafists caused Syria to occupy Lebanon for decades and the salafists caused May 7 etc... they're the greatest thread?

Missing 23 May 2013, 18:47

mc - the Hezb does not accept this. M14 have been demanding something similar to this.

Missing helicopter 24 May 2013, 05:03

If he army is capable of disarming bab eltebanneh then it is capable of protecting Jabal Mohsen with both sides disarmed.
If the fall of Qusayr will cause salafists to pour into Tripoli, then why is the Hezb assisting in ensuring its fall?
If Jabal Mohsen need to keep their arms because they are few in numbers then Hezb must disarm and the Christians must arm since they are the current minority.
If you are for the rise of the state of Lebanon, then ALL must disarm, be civilians and secular minded.

Thumb mckinl 23 May 2013, 11:29

Hariri and the Jackal Geagea ...

Default-user-icon Sarah (Guest) 23 May 2013, 12:13

@mckini why is that jabal mohsen should only be armed?? The others ain't allowed to protect themselves too?? Wow we know who u support.. I'm not with anyone but if one party is allowed then all sure or none at all.. Easy as that..

Default-user-icon Yalayl Ya 3ayn (Guest) 23 May 2013, 12:21

Idiots the war of the poors. Never learn from previous experiences.Nothing else to do but to kill each others for some dollars given to them.

Missing ihatepersia 23 May 2013, 13:31

is that so?
is that information revealed only to you from god via khominie?
your nothing but a pawn.

Default-user-icon Humourme (Guest) 23 May 2013, 14:03

The guy in the pic looks like Sean Connery

Default-user-icon Freebird (Guest) 23 May 2013, 14:17

So mckinl according to your logic the others should be disarmed and probabely give the arms/weapons to your friends to kill them with...
I think the real cause of such fights is hizbillat and its interferring inside Syria (and inside Lebanon where normally the government and its army should solve such tensions). Very simply this hizb is causing anarchy in the region giving itself the right to be above the law like the zionists in the whole world.

Thumb LebCynic 23 May 2013, 14:39

Geha, wishful thinkers like you have been saying that since cocky was an egg. Jabal Mohsen will stand strong as it always has in the face of extremists.

Thumb Chupachups 23 May 2013, 14:56

What can i say? I can't say anything. There is nothing to say.

Thumb Chupachups 23 May 2013, 16:04

i was overwhelmed by the thought of telling so many people off, that i crashed like windows would.

Thumb Chupachups 23 May 2013, 16:04

i was overwhelmed by the thought of telling so many people off, that i crashed like windows would.

Missing mohammad_ca 23 May 2013, 15:34

so Hariri get hizbocrap to enter Syria? pretty powerful man...

Default-user-icon Israel (Guest) 23 May 2013, 15:43

you politically brainwashed morons...bickering like parrots...idiots..if there was one brain between you people you would never fight. from an israeli.

Thumb primesuspect 23 May 2013, 15:55

Assad wants to destroy Lebanon and he'll succeed because his armed men on the field are Hezbollah and the Tripolistan Alawites. Disarm everyone now mr president!

Missing peace 23 May 2013, 16:01

it is plan B for bashar yes not for hariri the roar... they are trying to bring the attention on tripoli so that people forget about qousayr... that s all....

if hezbollah was truly lebanese and obeyed the laws and constitution of the state it wouldn t have come to this: sunni extremism to balance the shia one... letting hezbis keep their arms could only lead to this situation, it is a question of logic. so first blame hezbis then salafis who are the result of hezbis detention of heavy weaponry....

if you agree that hezbi have the right to decide of war and peace then you should also let other groups the same right! that is the logic M8 has led lebanon to!

Default-user-icon simon (Guest) 23 May 2013, 16:30

All Lebanon should be disarmed and we need to be like Switzrland... We don't need any arms inlcuding the Army... We should be in Peace, because in any war we always loose... Guaranteed... So lebanese standup, save your money spent on the army. Have a strong internal force to handle our streets and we are done to focus on Economy and live in Peace... Stop all the bullshit, Israel, Iran, Syria all these are enemies of lebanon; we just need to have a treaty with all not to get us involved.

Default-user-icon badom tsss (Guest) 23 May 2013, 19:17

Unfortunately the only way to prevent war is to get rid of religion, which is the main cause of conflict all around the world.

Default-user-icon Jay (Guest) 23 May 2013, 21:44

The funniest thing that Agence De France Presse did not mentioned at all that all these attacks were against the Lebanese army, against our nation, while they were so worried how many Salsfist terrorist were dead or wounded… so pity…