Deadly fighting in Lebanon’s Tripoli continues with the death toll reaching twelve people with dozens wounded.
Heavy shelling between rival Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhoods in Tripoli overwhelmed the city starting Saturday 10:30 p.m. and continued for hours reaching areas that are usually not affected by the fighting, such as Azmi Street and the Maarad road.
Fighting eased early Sunday morning but was resumed at around 9:00 a.m. in light of continued threats between the rival fighters, according to the Lebanese Daily Star newspaper.
Some of the wounded from the overnight fighting died Sunday.
They were identified as Mahmoud al-Mohammad, a Syrian national who died from his wounds after being hit by sniper gunfire at the Malloulah roundabout and Ali Mahmoud Al-Ahmad, in addition to Mahmoud Hussein, who died of a heart attack while fleeing sniper gunfire in the Zahereyah area.
Fighters from Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh have engaged in 17 rounds of clashes since the crisis in neighboring Syria began in 2011.
An additional two people were killed Sunday as a result of the fighting.
One of the shells targeted a center for the army in Bab al-Tabbaneh Sunday wounding a man identified as Abu Hasan Al-Jundi who later died from his wounds.
Over 49 people, including 12 soldiers and policemen, were wounded in the fighting.
Army units conducted raids in Tripoli overnight, arrested eight militants and confiscated their light weapons and ammunitions, a statement from the military said Sunday.
The detainees were handed in to the relevant authorities, the statement said.
Sniper activity at all fronts was reported on Sunday morning, including the international highway that links Tripoli to the northern region of Akkar.
The highway was blocked on Saturday and remained so on Sunday morning.
Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr issued Sunday a judicial order for security agencies to arrest violators in the northern city as well as fighters engaged in the battles.
Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora also called on the Lebanese state to disarm fighting parties in Tripoli and urged the implementation strict measures in the city.
“The situation in Tripoli can no longer be addressed through circumstantial procedures; strict decisions need to be made [to end the fighting],” Siniora said.