Eight days of sectarian clashes kill 24 in Lebanon’s Tripoli
Fierce fighting on Friday killed 10 people raising the death toll to 24 since March 13
Eight days of Syria-linked clashes in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli have killed 24 people, a security source told AFP Saturday, as sniper fire forced the closure of the highway to Syria.
Tripoli has been the scene of chronic sectarian fighting since the war in Syria erupted three years ago, with gunmen from the Sunni district of Bab al-Tebbaneh battling fighters in the Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen.
Tensions between the two districts go back decades but have been exacerbated by the conflict in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad, an Alawite, is battling a Sunni-led opposition.
Fierce fighting on Friday killed 10 people raising the death toll to 24 since March 13, the security source said, adding that 128 people have also been wounded in the eight days of violence.
Seventeen soldiers were among the wounded, the source said.
The army has been deployed in Tripoli for the past several weeks to try to bring peace to the warring districts but troops have repeatedly come under fire.
Relative calm prevailed on Saturday although snipers forced the closure of the highway leading from Tripoli to the Syrian border.
Most of the fighting in the city has taken place under the cover of darkness.