TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Eight Lebanese soldiers, including a lieutenant, were wounded when their vehicle came under attack in the northern city of Tripoli overnight, security sources and the military said Tuesday.
The sources told The Daily Star that gunmen fired machine guns and a rocket-propelled grenade at an Army unit carrying out raids hunting for wanted suspects in the Tripoli neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh.
A Lebanese Army statement said eight soldiers, including a lieutenant, were wounded when a military patrol came under machine gun and rocket fire in Bab al-Tabbaneh at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The security sources identified the officer as Lt. Hasan Awada. They said an APC was destroyed in the attack near Al-Nasiri Mosque on Syria Street, which separates Bab al-Tabbaneh from its traditional rival neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen.
The Army said troops were in pursuit of the assailants.
The security sources said Khaled al-Naaman, a militia commander who led the attack against the Army, was wounded in the ensuing exchange of fire.
The two Tripoli neighborhoods have been at the center of a series of clashes over the previous three years tied to the Syrian civil war. Relative calm has been restored to the restive city, after the Army and security forces put a new security plan into place at the beginning of April.
While the security forces have arrested dozens of militiamen and leaders, bringing an end to active fighting, Sunnis in Bab al-Tabbaneh have claimed the authorities are biased against their community.