Lebanon: one killed in pro-Syrian regime neighbourhood


Sniper fire killed a man and wounded a woman in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli on Friday, residents said, in the first deadly violence since 15 people were killed in clashes a week ago. The dead man was killed in the Alawite neighborhood of Jebel Mohsen, the sources said, and residents blocked roads with burning tires in protest.

Troops deployed across Tripoli on Sunday after 15 people were killed in violent clashes between Jebel Mohsen and neighboring Sunni neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh.

It was the worst bloodshed in Tripoli since the start of the uprising in Syria 15 months ago, reflecting the increasing threat to stability in Lebanon from Syria’s crisis.

Sunni Muslim fighters also fought street battles in the capital Beirut last month, and the kidnapping of 11 Lebanese Shi’ites in Syria has further fuelled tensions.

One person was killed on Friday and three others were wounded by gunfire in a pro-Syrian regime neighbourhood of the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, a security official said.

He said the man who died was killed by sniper fire in the port city’s mainly Alawite district of Jabal Mohsen, which faces the majority Sunni neighbourhood of Bab al-Tebbaneh whose residents are opposed to the Syrian regime.

The security official said gunfire between the two neighbourhoods erupted after the shooting, prompting the army to intervene. Three people were wounded in the shootout.

There were conflicting reports on how the shooting started.

Clashes between the pro- and anti-Syrian regime neighbourhoods last week left 14 people dead and 48 wounded, sparking fears of a spillover of the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

Sectarian violence has flared several times in Tripoli since the revolt broke out in Syria in March of last year, including street battles in May that left 10 dead.

Bab al-Tebbaneh and Jabal Mohsen have been gripped by frequent fighting, reflecting a split between Lebanon’s parties where the opposition backs the revolt in Syria while a ruling coalition led by the powerful militant group Hezbollah supports the Damascus regime.