TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Residents in the northern city of Tripoli remained on edge Saturday, fearing renewed clashes between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad’s regime, a day after one man was killed in brief fighting.
Intermittent sniper fire on Syria Street, the ironically-named road separating the rival neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, forced schools and colleges to remain shut for the safety of their students.
An estimated 10 shells fell on Barad al-Bisar late Friday as the Army sent reinforcements to expand its reach in conflict zones and contain the clashes.
Taleb Assi died Friday of wounds he sustained after being shot in the Qibbeh neighborhood. Assi is the nephew of Alwaite Islamic Council head Sheikh Assad Assi.
Ahmad Nasser, Rabee al-Dinawi, Moahmamad Zobeydeyih, Ali Ibrahim and two Army soldiers identified as Ali Qassem and Samer al-Qaderi were also wounded in Qibbeh and Talet al-Omari as a result of separate shooting incidents.
The soldiers were wounded in their legs by sniper fire, a security source told The Daily Star.
A Lebanese Army post came under heavy gunshots late Friday, prompting the military to respond to the source of fire.
Clashes briefly erupted after news emerged of a rocket attack from Syria on the northeastern town of Arsal. The attack killed eight people including six children.
Tripoli has witnessed some 18 rounds of deadly clashes since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in March of 2011, between residents of the pro-Assad Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen and their rivals in Sunni dominant Bab al-Tabbaneh.
President Michel Sleiman and caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati decided late last year to place Tripoli under the Army’s command for a six-month period with the aim of restoring calm to the restive city and ending recurrent sectarian fighting.