TRIPOLI, Lebanon: The death toll from the fighting in Tripoli, north Lebanon, between gunmen loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and those opposed to him rose to nine Tuesday, security sources said.
The sources said more than 25 people have also been injured since the clashes broke out over the weekend between the rival neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh.
They said skirmishes calmed Monday after the Lebanese Army enforced stringent measures to put an end to the fighting.
However, several rocket-propelled grenades exploded in the air overnight in the areas surrounding Jabal Mohsen, one security source said.
The source, who spoke to The Daily Star on condition of anonymity, said sniping in the streets also continued throughout the night from the hills above the areas of tension.
The Lebanese Army said in a statement that by Monday afternoon it had taken control of most of the fighting fronts except for Talaat al-Omari, Souk al-Qameh and Souk al-Khodra.
The fighting is dispersed around Jabal Mohsen.
Army patrols entered the volatile Syria Street in Bab al-Tabbaneh Monday after a meeting of several dignitaries and an Army officer at Future Movement MP Mohammad Kabbara’s residence which ended with a call for the Army to restore order in the city.
Gunmen, shooting in the air after a fiery speech by Akkar Mufti Sheikh Ossama Rifai during Hasan’s funeral, killed 15-year-old Rola Fakhro, a resident of Jabal Mohsen.
Her death triggered the armed clashes between the rival neighborhoods.
Meanwhile, Future Movement MP Mouin Merhebi expanded his sit-in protest outside Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s residence in Tripoli, bringing in more tents.
About 100 supporters of Merhebi – calling for Mikati’s resignation in the wake of Hasan’s assassination – camped out in the 14 tents now set up in the front yard of Mikati’s home.