TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Clashes renewed for a fifth day Monday in the northern city of Tripoli between opponents and supporters of President Bashar Assad, as sniper fire wounded three people, security sources said.
Eleven people have been killed so far and 96 have been wounded since the fighting began last week over the killing of a man from the Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen.
Seventy one of those wounded are still recuperating in Tripoli hospitals.
Monday’s clashes shattered a relative calm that prevailed in the city earlier in the day when a group of students held a small protest, demanding an end to the raging battles.
Holding Lebanese flags and banners that read "Enough ... Enough" and "We want to study," the protesters said schools and universities should reopen in the city, Lebanon's second largest.
Two soldiers were wounded when a rocket propelled grenade struck their units in Gharbaa and the Abu Ali Roundabout as the military continued to respond to the sources of fire.
Another young boy was wounded by sniper fire in the Bab al-Tabbaneh’s vegetable market.
The Army blocked a vital highway connecting Tripoli to Akkar due to intense shooting on the road while the city’s businesses remained closed and streets were deserted.
Gunmen from Jabal Mohsen, staunch supporters of Assad, have engaged in 20 rounds of clashes with their rivals in the majority Sunni neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh who side with the Syrian opposition.
Former Minister Faisal Karami said the city was living a "true war situation," adding that efforts should be exerted to transform it into an "arms-free city."
"The most dangerous thing in this round of fighting are the attacks on the Army," Karami told reporters at his hometown.
"What we need is for everyone to put in efforts to reach solutions that protect the city,” he added.