Gunmen run rampant in Tripoli

Published June 24th, 2013 - 09:32 GMT
Black smoke acsends from burning tires laid across a street in the northern city of Tripoli on Sunday. (AFP)
Black smoke acsends from burning tires laid across a street in the northern city of Tripoli on Sunday. (AFP)

Gunmen have been roaming the streets of the northern city of Tripoli on Monday morning in a show of support to Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir, reported the National News Agency.

The gunmen on motorcycles have been firing gunshots into the air in order to intimidate the people and force them to close their stores.

Youths also briefly blocked the Abdul Hamid Karami Square in a show of support to al-Asir, whose supporters have been waging clashes with the army since Sunday in the southern city of Sidon, reported MTV.

The Sidon clashes spilled over other Lebanese regions on Sunday, as roads were blocked in the North, Bekaa and Beirut.

An army base was hit with an RPG at the Abu Ali roundabout in Tripoli Sunday, but no casualties were reported, LBCI television said.

The military command said the number of troops killed in the Sidon fighting rose to 12. There were also more than 50 injuries among the ranks of the soldiers, but it was not clear how many fighters were killed in the unrest.

The clashes erupted when al-Asir's supporters surrounded an army checkpoint in the area, where a vehicle transporting other supporters of the cleric had been stopped.

After the armed men attacked the troops with gunfire, the army fired back.


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