TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Three people, including a young child, were killed in the northern city of Tripoli Wednesday in renewed clashes linked to the ongoing war in neighboring Syria.
Ahmed Khaled Sayyed, 11, died as a result of sniper fire in the largely Sunni Tripoli neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh.
Mahmoud Fakhreddine, 19, was also critically injured by the sniper fire in the neighborhood and was transferred to the Islamic Hospital.
Hasan Saleh Mazloum and Wadad Nasser were identified as the victims of a new sectarian-related attack near the city’s Malouleh roundabout.
Mazloum was driving near the roundabout when unidentified gunmen opened fire on his vehicle which spiraled out of control into a vegetable cart on the side of road. Mazloum was then dragged out of his car on to the street where he was brutally beaten.
Residents managed to get Mazloum to a local hospital after the assailants cleared the area but the man succumbed to his injuries.
Nasser, a passerby, was shot and killed in the shooting.
Two people were also wounded in the incident.
Attacks on members of Tripoli’s Alawite sect have been on the rise after members of the Arab Democratic Party, based in Jabal Mohsen, were implicated in the August explosions targeting the city’s Al-Salam and Al-Taqwa mosques.
Fighters in Jabal Mohsen, a predominantly Alawite neighborhood, have also frequently clashed with rival gunmen in the mainly Sunni neighborhood of Bab Al-Tabbaneh, in fighting linked to the ongoing conflict in neighboring Syria.
Following the shooting Wednesday, most shops in Bab al-Tabbaneh closed and streets vacated with residents fearing renewed clashes between rival neighborhoods.
Sniper fire was ongoing by Wednesday night in the Al-Zahiriya neighborhood all the way up to the Abu Ali roundabout and Malloula.
A shell also landed by the Rahman Mosque on Syria Street.
This is the 20th round of fighting between the rival neighborhoods since the uprising began in March 2011.
In a bid to curb the cycle of violence in the city, the government decided in December to place Tripoli under the command of the Army for a period of six months, but the plan has been undermined by two rounds of fighting this year.