Cautious calm returns to Tripoli following Friday’s deadly clashes


Cautious calm was restored in Tripoli LBC television reported on Saturday , adding that one of those injured during Friday’s clashes died today.

Shops are closed in the area of clashes, and the Lebanese army is heavily deployed, the report added.

Armed clashes erupted in Tripoli on Friday following a rally in support of Syrian protesters. The military official of the Hezbollah and Syrian backed Arab Democratic Party, Ali Fares was killed and 6 others including one army soldier and a seven year old child. At least 59 others were reportedly injured and some are in serious condition .

The army quickly deployed to contain the situation, which spread to the area of al-Rifa in al-Qubbeh neighborhood in Tripoli.

Informed security sources told al-Jumhuriya newspaper that President Michel Suleiman ordered all security forces to “contain the situation as soon as possible,” calling for sparing no expense to provide all security reinforcements for this end.

An agreement was reached last night to halt the fighting and at 1:00 am all sides respected it and the army proceeded to deploy in the areas that witnessed the most fighting.

Jabal Mohsen ( home of the Arab Democratic Party) and Bab al-Tabbaneh areas have been in recent years the scene of intense clashes between Sunni supporters of Lebanon’s former PM Saad Hariri and Alawites who are loyal to the Hezbollah-led coalition backed by Iran and Syria.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati came under fire for the way he handled his first crisis since he formed the cabinet .

Mikati on Friday accused the opposition of being behind the clashes that took place in Tripoli . This outraged the opposition who accused him of slander specially since he talked before the investigation of the incident started .

“What Mikati said today is slander against us”, Future Movement MP Samir al-Jisr told Future TV on Friday

Top photo: Lebanese citizens duck down as they ride their scooter past a man taking cover as clashes broke out between Sunnis and Alawites after a demonstration of the anti-Syrian regime protesters , in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, on Friday June 17, 2011. The violence came four days after Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who comes from the Tripoli neighborhood, announced a new government dominated by pro-Syrian groups, including the militant Hezbollah and its allies. (AP Photo).

Shown from left Ministers Faisal Karami and Mohammad Safadi , PM Nagib Mikati , Ministers Ahmad Karami , Walid Daouk during a press conference in Tripoli on Friday June 17, 2011

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