BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces began patrolling the Beirut neighborhood of Tariq al-Jadideh Monday morning backed by armored vehicles as businesses opened and normal life resumed following overnight clashes that left at least three people killed.
The fighting erupted between Future Movement supporters and their rivals in the Arab Movement Party headed by Shaker Berjaoui, an ally of the Syrian government. Three people were killed and 15 were wounded.
Two of the three fatalities were identified as Mohammad Yusef Boutah, 31 and Ali Mohammad Sharab, 30.
Security sources told The Daily Star that clashes erupted when Berjaoui began preparing the Municipal Stadium for May 25 Liberation Day, which commemorates the withdrawal of Israeli troops from south Lebanon in 2000.
They also said that residents of the neighborhood have vowed not to allow Berjaoui to return to the area.
Earlier Sunday, residents also blocked roads in Tariq al-Jadideh with burning tires and trash cans in protest of the killing of anti-Assad Muslim preacher Ahmad Abdel-Wahed and his companion by soldiers at a checkpoint in Akkar, triggering a wave of anger in several parts of the country.
The five-hour Beirut clashes with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades ended after Berjaoui agreed to evacuate his office near the Arab University in the densely populated district.
Tensions in the country escalated last week after fighting between supporters and detractors of Syrian President Bashar Assad erupted in the northern city of Tripoli.
Eleven people, including a Lebanese soldier, were killed in the three days of fighting between the neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen.