Fresh clashes erupt in Lebanon's Tripoli Wednesday morning, border town hit by Syrian rockets
The war in Syria has spilled over into Lebanon, heightening sectarian tension and violence particularly within the northern city of Tripoli (Ibrahim Chalhoub/AFP)
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Gunbattles rocked the northern city of Tripoli on Wednesday morning after a relatively calm night as the Lebanese army came under heavy gunfire, leaving three soldiers and two civilians injured.
The fighting mainly took place in the hotspots of Bab Al Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, two impoverished neighborhoods that are the scenes of frequent sectarian clashes linked to the war in Syria.
Fighters used Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and automatic rifles.
The army however responded to the sources of fire.
The highway linking Tripoli with the district of Akkar was blocked as schools and universities were closed amid limited traffic. One person was killed and several others were injured on Tuesday, raising the death toll to seven after five days of clashes.
The gunbattles erupted last Friday when a Jabal Mohsen man was shot dead in nearby Al Qobbeh.
Bab Al Tabbaneh is mainly Sunni and its residents back the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose Alawite sect is heavily present in Jabal Mohsen.
The sectarian fault-line between the neighborhoods that are separated by Syria Street is decades old, but has been exacerbated by the Syrian war.
In related news from Lebanon Wednesday, two people were injured in a border town in the northern district of Akkar after rockets landed in the area from the Syrian side of the border, the state-run National News Agency reported Wednesday.
NNA said one rocket hit the house of Mohammed Mahmoud Haydar in the town of Danke, injuring two of his sons.
The agency did not state whether they have suffered serious injuries. It only said they were taken to hospitals in the region.
Several other rockets hit nearby towns and villages, NNA added.