TRIPOLI, Lebanon: A precarious calm in the northern city of Tripoli was shattered Wednesday by sporadic sniper fire that killed one man and wounded six others, including an 8-year-old child, security sources said.
Omran Habbous was killed by sniper fire in the predominantly Alawite Jabal Mohsen neighborhood, the sources said, the latest victim of the on-again, off-again fighting between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad that has rocked the northern city since the uprising began in Syria in March 2011.
Habbous’ death brought the death toll to 19 and the number of wounded to over 90 since the last bout of violence erupted last Thursday in renewed hostilities directly linked to the 3-year-old war in Syria.
Six people were wounded by sniper fire, including 8-year-old Bakr Radwan, who was hit in his head near Al-Jihad stadium in the Sunni majority neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh, the sources said.
The boy was in critical condition and was transferred to a hospital, which was preparing to move Radwan to another medical center due to the lack of available space.
Earlier in the day and amid heavy gunfire, residents of Bab al-Tabbaneh held a funeral procession for militia leader Omar Balah, known as Al-Khattab, who was killed in the clashes Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the Army came under attack once again in the Qibbeh neighborhood when gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades at a military post, wounding a number of soldiers, the sources said.
Around 4 p.m. two RPGs struck a military checkpoint in Talaat al-Omari, prompting the Army to respond to the sources of fire. No casualties were reported in the attack on the military checkpoint.
A vital highway linking Akkar to Tripoli remained closed as a result of sniper fire.
Normal life returned to remote neighborhoods in Tripoli with some schools opening their doors for students amid tight security measures.
Backed by armored vehicles, the military patrolled Tripoli neighborhoods and set up checkpoints in various areas.
At least 20 rounds of fighting have erupted since 2011 between gunmen from the Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood, which backs the Syrian opposition, and their rivals in Jabal Mohsen, which supports the Assad regime.