Lebanon News

Calm returns to Tripoli after weekend violence

File - A Lebanese gunman points his rifle as other takes up position in the neighbourhood of Bab al-Tebbaneh in Tripoli, during clashes. (REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim)

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Calm returned to the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli Sunday after limited overnight clashes between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad left one man dead and four people wounded. Ali Abdel-Qader Swaid, who was wounded by sniper fire between Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen at dawn, died from his wounds at noon Sunday.

The other casualties, all wounded by sniper fire, were identified as Layla Ramadan, Taleb Deeb, Mariana al-Sheikh and Mohammad Zafer.

The four were transferred to local hospitals for treatment.

Hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades were also fired from the two sides in the weekend clashes, prompting the Lebanese Army to respond to the sources of fire and establish military checkpoints on roads to the restive neighborhoods.

The fighting subsided at around 3 a.m. but intermittent gunfire could be heard in the two neighborhoods and their surrounding areas until dawn.

The fighting started between the two rival neighborhoods in the aftermath of Thursday’s suicide bombing in the southern suburbs of Beirut that killed five people. Clashes intensified Friday when the convoy carrying the body of suspected suicide bomber Qotaiba Mohammad al-Satem made its way through Tripoli en route to the border region of Wadi Khaled in the northern province of Akkar.

Tripoli has seen frequent and sometimes deadly clashes between fighters in Bab al-Tabbaneh, a predominantly Sunni neighborhood that supports the uprising in Syria, and Jabal Mohsen, a mainly Alawite neighborhood that backs Assad.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 06, 2014, on page 3.




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