TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Brief clashes in Tripoli left one dead and several injured, before Army units intervened early Sunday to restore calm to the historic districts and markets of the northern city.
A dispute between two young men from the Deeb and Mishmish families escalated into an armed clash in the alleyways and narrow residential roads of the old districts of the city, preventing the Army from intervening right away.
The clash resulted in the death of Omar Hmeidan, and left several others wounded.
Dozens of cars, shops and buildings were severely damaged by the moderate and light arms used by rival parties in the clash. Jewelry shops in the old market in the district were also robbed during the fight.
At midnight, the Army deployed units in the areas surrounding the clashes, and later increased its presence, along with the Internal Security Forces, at the entrances of the old city districts. Soldiers took positions at the rooftops of buildings where armed men typically exchange fire.
The clashes renewed briefly Sunday during Hmeidan’s funeral, when militants Abu Ali Khawla, Abed al-Falastini and Abu Khaled al-Shalabi ambushed rivals Fadi Sabouneh and Jihad Blataji near the historic Mansouri Mosque.
Shalabi was severely injured in the confrontation.
A field commander known as Abu Azab and his armed group also set ablaze a coffee shop owned by Khawla in the Tripoli neighborhood of Bab al-Ramel.
Subsequently, Army units intervened and arrested several armed men involved in the clashes.
Also at midnight Saturday, Alawite resident Talal Harfoush was shot in the hand by unidentified men in the neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh and was taken to a hospital.
In al-Dam wal Farz neighborhood of Tripoli a baking shop owned by a Syrian man was shot at by armed men driving a BMW car, causing damage to the shop and its facade.