Fighting Erupts Again in Central Tripoli's Old Souks

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Clashes renewed on Saturday evening in the old souks in central Tripoli between rival armed groups despite a heavy deployment by the army and security forces in the city, state-run National News Agency said.

“Heavy gunfire was being heard in Khan al-Saboun, the gold market, Bab al-Hadid, al-Diftar Square and Souk al-Nahhasin,” NNA said.

The renewal of the clashes comes after a gunfight on Friday between armed Salafists and gunmen loyal to Damascus and Hizbullah left one person dead and five others wounded.

The army had managed to restore a tense calm in the area after shooting back at the sources of gunfire and deploying heavily in the conflict zone.

The fighting in central Tripoli first erupted on Thursday, when one person was killed and seven others were hurt the clashes.

The gunfight pitted members of al-Nashar family, loyal to Syria and Hizbullah, against armed Salafists from the Hajar family, who back the Syrian revolt.

It was 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 state-run National News Agency had reported cautious calm on Friday morning in the souk area after the military took control of bases from al-Nashar family.

The clashes came after a security plan by the army managed to relatively contain the violence in the flashpoint districts of mainly Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, whose majority of residents are Alawites.

Troops have set up checkpoints in all neighborhoods in Tripoli and deployed heavily in Syria street that separates the flashpoint districts.

The fighting in Tripoli is linked to the war in Syria where a mostly Sunni-led uprising is seeking to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad, who is an Alawite.

Comments 1
Thumb benzona 09 June 2013, 00:22

Véritablement un ramassi de dégénérés.