BEIRUT/TRIPOLI: A civilian and two Lebanese soldiers were wounded during an exchange of gunfire between gunmen and armed forces in the northern city of Tripoli Tuesday, security sources said.
The man was identified as Hussein Abdallah. The sources said Abdallah was near an Army post in Tripoli’s Vegetable Market when gunmen engaged soldiers in a firefight.
A hand grenade was also tossed at the Army post during the midday clash, the sources said.
Earlier in the day, gunmen traded gunfire with soldiers at Talaat al-Omari. No casualties were reported from the 10 a.m. flare-up.
During the skirmish with assault rifles, gunmen fired three rocket-propelled grenades toward an Army post in Talaat al-Omari, but missed the target, the sources added.
The Lebanese Army came under repeated attacks during the night.
The sources said gunmen lobbed several stun grenades at Lebanese Army posts in the Tripoli neighborhoods of Ghorabaa, Beddawi and Mankoubeen between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Monday.
An Army position on Syria Street also came under a similar attack. No casualties were reported.
Syria Street separates the warring Tripoli neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen, a predominantly Alawite area that owes allegiance to Syrian President Bashar Assad, and mainly Sunni Bab al-Tabbaneh, which supports the Syrian uprising.
Soldiers deployed in the warring neighborhoods in December in an effort to end more than a dozen rounds of fighting between pro- and anti-Assad gunmen linked to the crisis in next-door Syria.
The two sides have been in on-again, off-again conflict since the 1980s but the three-year-old war in Syria between Assad, an Alawite, and the majority Sunni rebels has opened old wounds in Tripoli with recurrent bouts of gun battles.
Scores of fighters, Sunnis among them, have been arrested by the Army as it pursues a six-month-long mandate to end bloodshed in battering Tripoli.
Sunnis, however, accuse the military of targeting them while turning a blind eye to Alawites.
The nighttime hostilities kept thousands of students at home for a sixth day as schools and universities remained closed.
Monday’s clashes brought the death toll to 15 and the number of wounded to around 90 since the latest round of violence erupted Thursday.
Prime Minister Tammam Salam is scheduled to hold a meeting at the Grand Serail Tuesday with Tripoli’s lawmakers, including former Prime Minister Najib Mikati, to discuss ways to restore stability in Tripoli.