Lebanon News

Tenuous calm in north Lebanon as Army conducts patrols

An army armored personnel carrier patrols the northern city of Tripoli, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. (The Daily Star/Antoine Amrieh)

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Tripoli was calm Saturday except for occasional sniper fire, following four days of fierce fighting during which 16 people were killed and 120 were injured.

The Lebanese Army conducted regular patrols along the frontlines of Tripoli’s Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen districts. Residents of Bab al-Tabbaneh generally support the Syrian uprising, while those of Jabal Mohsen largely back President Bashar Assad and his regime.

No casualties were reported, despite occasional sniper fire.

Lebanese troops in Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) and jeeps were seen patrolling Syria Street, which separates the two districts.

The Lebanese Navy’s elite commandos dispatched 30 armored vehicles to the frontlines in an effort to maintain a tenuous cease-fire.

Meanwhile, a meeting at Tripoli MP Mohammad Kabbara’s residence that brought together local Bab al-Tabbaneh figures and Minister Ahmad Karami, who was representing Prime Minister Najb Mikati, ended without any statement.

Sources close to the meeting said that the Bab al-Tabbaneh figures refused to agree to a government proposal to declare the gunmen as suspects and pursue them legally.

In the last round of clashes, which took place Friday, three people were killed, including anti-Assad Salafist Sheikh Khaled Baradie. Several people, including two journalists, were wounded.

The recent fighting prompted warnings from the U.S. and U.K. that the bloody crisis in Syria is spreading to Lebanon.





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