Tripoli - Eight days of Syria-linked clashes in the
northern Lebanese city of Tripoli have killed 24 people, a security source told
AFP on Saturday, as sniper fire forced the closure of the highway to Syria.
Tripoli has been the scene of chronic sectarian fighting
since the war in Syria erupted three years ago, with gunmen from the Sunni
district of Bab al-Tebbaneh battling fighters in the Alawite neighbourhood of
Tensions between the two districts go back decades but
have been exacerbated by the conflict in Syria, where President Bashar Assad,
an Alawite, is battling a Sunni-led opposition.
Fierce fighting on Friday killed 10 people raising the
death toll to 24 since 13 March, the security source said, adding that 128
people have also been wounded in the eight days of violence.
Seventeen soldiers were among the wounded, the source
The army has been deployed in Tripoli for the past
several weeks to try to bring peace to the warring districts but troops have
repeatedly come under fire.
Relative calm prevailed on Saturday although snipers
forced the closure of the highway leading from Tripoli to the Syrian border.
Most of the fighting in the city has taken place under
the cover of darkness.