TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Tensions ran high in the north Lebanon city of Tripoli after extremist militants attacked several Army posts there overnight Sunday, leading to the wounding of two soldiers, security sources told The Daily Star.
Gunmen affiliated with militia leaders Chadi al-Mawlawi, his brother Nizar Mawlawi and Osama Mansour, who is known as Abu Mansour, attacked Army posts in the impoverished neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh in retaliation to the Army’s operation against armed rebel groups in north east Lebanon, one source said.
Eight Lebanese soldiers were killed and several were wounded in clashes with gunmen that continued overnight in and around the border town of Arsal near Syria, the Army said Sunday.
Both the Mawlawi brothers and Abu Mansour are wanted by Lebanese authorities and have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, according to the source.
The overnight incidents in Tripoli have dealt a severe blow to a security plan implemented by the Lebanese government that restored calm and stability to Lebanon’s second largest city that has suffered the most from the repercussions on Lebanon of the war in Syria.
Masked gunmen attacked Army posts in the impoverished neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Mankoubine with gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades. The attacks prompted the Army to close down several roads in Tripoli where a precarious calm reigned Sunday morning.