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Clashes kill two in Lebanon’s Tripoli, security source says

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At least two people were killed and six others wounded in running gun battles in the flashpoint northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, a security source told AFP on Sunday.

The source identified the dead as 22-year-old Mohammed Yussef, from the Alawite Jabal Mohsen area, and a 13-year-old boy from the neighboring Sunni area of Bab el-Tebbaneh.

One person was wounded in Jabal Mohsen and five others were wounded in Bab el-Tebbaneh, the source said.

“Lebanese military forces are in the area and responding to the sources of gunfire,” he added.

The largely Sunni city is home to a small community of Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam to which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad belongs.

Violence has regularly broken out between the two communities as the conflict in neighbouring Syria -- pitting Assad’s regime against a Sunni-led opposition -- raises tensions.

The fighting erupted as Syrian troops launched an assault against the rebel stronghold of Qusayr, in Syria’s central province of Homs.