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Lebanon: Clashes in Tripoli kill 11

23rd May 2013

Al-Akhbar:  Eleven people – including at least two officers – were killed and dozens were wounded in fighting in Tripoli, as violence escalated Wednesday on the fourth day of clashes in the northern Lebanese city.

“The death toll is up to 11 and the numbers of wounded were reported to be at least 70 and went up to 130,” an Al-Akhbar correspondent in Tripoli said.

“Between the ones that get treated in hospitals and the others that get treated in homes, it isn’t possible to come out with an exact number of how many people were wounded in the fighting,” the correspondent said.

Stores, schools and shops were all closed Wednesday due to the crossfire between the different neighborhoods.

Tripoli’s dignitaries were prevented from holding a meeting set for noon to discuss a plan to put a stop to violence.

An Al-Jazeera English camera crew was targeted by fighters on Wednesday, damaging their equipment but causing no casualties.

According to the National News Agency, the situation had reached a precarious calm by Wednesday afternoon, with only sporadic firing.

The fighting began Sunday afternoon, after rumors spread that several young men from Tripoli had left for Syria to fight against President Bashar al-Assad’s troops and were now in Qusayr, killed, taken captive, or trying to escape.

Less than an hour after the news came out, gunfire, exchange of shells, and bombing erupted in the neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen, Bab al-Tabbaneh, al-Qubba, and al-Mankoubinas, as dozens of families fled to safer areas.

The violence escalated in the late hours of Sunday afternoon, leading to several injuries and deaths, including frontline commanders, and has been ongoing since.

The army was deployed in the area following news of the clashes, but has so far failed to stop the violence.

Local media reported Tuesday that one death and several injuries were caused by a sniper.

The events led several political and security officials in the city to state that battles in Qusayr will mean blood in Tripoli.

Tripoli has been rocked by deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian government when the conflict started two years ago, but is now also being affected by the battles in Qusayr.




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Sectarianism in the Middle East and its rise in the UK, Standpoint, Sahar TV. Interview 29 May 2013 and aired on 12 June 2013

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