dead in north Lebanon in spillover from Syria war
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[March 21, 2014]
TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Reuters) — Three
people were killed in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Friday in
fighting between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad, security and medical sources said.
Tripoli, like much of Lebanon, is divided along sectarian lines
and is only 30 miles from the Syrian border. Its majority Sunni
Muslims, who back the Syrian rebels, often clash with the minority
from Assad's Alawite sect.
Two gunmen were wounded in overnight clashes between fighters from
the Sunni district of Bab al-Tabbaneh and the Alawite neighborhood
of Jebel Mohsen and died of their wounds, the sources said. An
elderly civilian man was shot dead by a sniper on Friday, they
added. Eleven others were wounded.
Lebanon's population is deeply divided over the Syrian war. Shi'ite
militant and political movement Hezbollah and its allies support
Assad while many of the country's Sunnis back the revolt.
Tripoli's Sunnis and Alawites have clashed on-and-off for decades
but the Syrian conflict has worsened tensions, with each side
accusing the other of using the city as a base for sending fighters
and weapons in and out of Syria.
Lebanon's parliament gave a newly-formed cabinet a vote of
confidence on Thursday, ending almost a year of political deadlock.
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But the small Mediterranean country sees regular car bombs and
rocket attacks, as well as incursions by the Syrian army in pursuit
of rebels who move across the border.
(Reporting by Nazih Saddiq; writing by Oliver Holmes;
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