Six killed at anti-Syria rally in Lebanon

TRIPOLI, Lebanon — Six people were killed and several injured on Friday in clashes between Sunnis and Alawites after protests against Syria’s regime in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, a security official said.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sat 18 Jun 2011, 1:13 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:21 AM

The unrest broke out in the coastal city’s sensitive Bab Al-Tebbaneh and Jabal Mohsen neighbourhoods where Sunni Muslims and Alawites — an offshoot of Shiite Islam — have often clashed.

Among the dead were a Lebanese army soldier, an official from the Alawite party and a 14-year-old Sunni boy.

The army was deployed heavily around the two neighbourhoods to prevent an escalation, but residents were already starting to leave, seeking safety elsewhere.

The army said in a statement that its soldiers had come under fire and that it was “conducting searches to arrest the armed men and to restore order.”

Despite the military presence, shots were heard and armed men from both sides could still be seen on the street.

Earlier, some 600 people had gathered in Tripoli for a protest against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is facing an unprecedented revolt against his 11-year rule.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who hails from Tripoli, cancelled plans to attend an ceremony in the city in the evening to receive congratulations following the formation of his government earlier in the week.

“Civil peace is a red line” not to be crossed, he told a news conference. “I am sure that the situation will be sorted out this very night,” in Tripoli, he added.

Tripoli has in recent years been the scene of intense clashes between Sunni supporters of Lebanon’s current pro-Western opposition alliance and Alawite Muslims loyal to a Hezbollah-led coalition backed by Iran and Syria.


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