TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Schools across the northern city of Tripoli remained closed Wednesday as the total number of wounded from the three days of sporadic clashes between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad rose to 29.
Eleven people were wounded Wednesday, bringing the total number to 29 including four soldiers, a security source told The Daily Star.
A 13-year-old boy identified as Daniel Ahmad was killed Tuesday.
Fighters in the mainly Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood exchanged rocket-propelled grenades, mortar bombs and assault rifle fire with rival militants in nearby Jabal Mohsen, a mainly Alawite neighborhood loyal to Assad.
Lebanese troops responded by firing into the air as the fighting between the two sides raised fears that a new wave of violence could rock Tripoli, a security source told The Daily Star.
Lebanese Army commandos briefly deployed at the Hariri Project area, located between Baqqar and Jabal Mohsen, only to pull out at 4 a.m., the source added.
The clashes significantly tapered off around 5 a.m.
However, police warned citizens against travel along the highway connecting Tripoli with Akkar due to sniper fire.
Meanwhile, private and public schools across Tripoli remained closed for the second day Wednesday.
Clashes first broke out Monday evening following Assad’s appearance on a television interview, but subsided later at night.
The fighting broke the calm that had largely prevailed since the government's deployment of a security plan to preserve peace and stability in the northern city. The plan came into affect weeks after two car bombs exploded at separate mosques in the city, killing 47 people and wounding over 100.
Seven suspects were charged last week over the Aug. 23 bombings in Tripoli, with preliminary investigations linking the suspects to Syrian intelligence services and the Arab Democratic Party allied with the Syrian regime and based in Jabal Mohsen.
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati has moved to his residence in Tripoli to follow up on the situation there. While there, Mikati also met with the city's Mufti Sheikh Malek al-Shaar who recently returned to Lebanon after nearly a year abroad for security reasons.
Future MP Mohammad Kabbara criticized the security plan drafted by the caretaker government to preserve peace in the city, lashing out at the Assad regime and his rivals in Jabal Mohsen.
"After the bombings, Tripoli's residence cooperated with each other ... to confront the conspiracy aimed at destroying the city through these bombs that were sent to us by the butcher Assad through his agents in Jabal Mohsen,” Kabbara told reporters after the meeting of the National Islamic Gathering which was held at his Tripoli residence.