Clashes in north Lebanon continue; Death toll rises to nine
Fierce clashes resumed on Monday in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, prompting civilians to flee or hide in underground shelters, a security official told AFP. Security sources said nine people had been killed and 50 wounded in the clashes as fighters in the Bab al-Tebbaneh and Jabal Mohsen districts traded heavy machine-gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades.
Several homes as well as a gas station were on fire as the army surrounded the area in a bid to contain the violence.
On Sunday at least four people were killed and 33 injured when the fighting erupted, pitting Sunni supporters of the ruling majority against Alawites loyal to the Hizbullah-led opposition. One of those wounded died on Monday, bringing the death toll to five.
A military official said the fighting had eased before noon Sunday and the army was sending reinforcements. After a meeting Sunday afternoon by local leaders in Tripoli, former Prime Minister Najib Mikati urged the Lebanese army to take control in the city. After sunset, security officials said sporadic fighting in the area resumed.