2 killed in north Lebanon clash over Syria: Security

Two people were killed and 30 others wounded in a three-day gunfight in the Lebanese city of Tripoli between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a security official said on Wednesday.

AFP| Updated: Oct 23, 2013, 14:37 PM IST

Tripoli: Two people were killed and 30 others wounded in a three-day gunfight in the Lebanese city of Tripoli between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a security official said on Wednesday.

The violence has closed schools and sent families into flight.

"Two people have been killed since Monday night. One of them was a 13-year-old child, the other a 32-year-old man. Thirty other people have been wounded," the official told a news agency on condition of anonymity.

The clashes broke out on Monday night as an interview with Assad was being aired on television.

The 13-year-old victim was from Jabal Mohsen, a majority Alawite neighbourhood in the northern port city of Tripoli whose residents support Assad.

The man killed was from Bab al-Tebbaneh, whose Sunni inhabitants support the anti-Assad revolt in neighbouring Syria.

The violence forced families from both districts to flee their homes for other areas of Tripoli, said a news agency correspondent in Lebanon`s second city.

Early today, "gunmen from the two sides tried storming each other`s districts", said the official. "The army fought them off, in a battle that raged at around 3:00 am."

All Tripoli`s schools stayed closed today because of the violence.

Violence has frequently broken out in the two impoverished neighbourhoods since the March 2001 start of Syria`s uprising.

Lebanon is deeply divided into pro- and anti-Damascus camps.

The division has grown even deeper after Shiite militant group Hezbollah admitted in May it was sending fighters into Syria to support Assad`s troops.

Small radical Sunni organisations have also sent men across the border to fight alongside the rebels.

Lebanon was dominated politically and militarily by Damascus for 30 years until 2005.