Lebanese army sets up checkpoints in Hezbollah stronghold
The Lebanese army was on Sunday carrying out patrols and setting up checkpoints in the eastern city of Baalbek a day after five people were killed in clashes between Hezbollah and armed men.
The National News Agency said there was cautious calm in the Hezbollah stronghold amid a total closure of shops and markets, except for bakeries.
Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel told Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) that the army's sixth battalion took over all Hezbollah checkpoints mainly the ones set up at the entrances of Baalbek as part of a deal for the military to restore order in the city.
Saturday's gunbattles were sparked by a “personal dispute,” Charbel said, ruling out sectarian causes.
Five people, including a soldier, were killed after clashes broke out between Hezbollah members and al-Shiyyah clan following a dispute in Baalbek’s al-Qalaa marketplace.
Lebanon has been on edge as a result of the civil war in neighboring Syria, with many Lebanese divided between supporters of Presidents Bashar Assad's regime and the opposition.