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Several injured in northern Lebanon clashes

Latest update : 2008-06-22

Clashes between pro-government Sunni militants and Hezbollah supporters injured at least 24 people in Bab al-Tebbaneh and al-Qobbe, northern districts of Tripoli.

At least 24 people were wounded on Sunday during clashes between rival factions in northern Lebanon, a security official told AFP.
  
Fighting began at 4.15 am (0115 GMT) in Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, northern sectors of the city of Tripoli.
  
The official said pro-government Sunni militants fought with a group of Alawites, a dissident branch of Shiism which however supports the Shiite Hezbollah opposition movement.
  
Clashes extended to the al-Qobbe zone in the east of Tripoli where, an AFP correspondent said, families could be seen fleeing the district.
  
Twenty-one of the wounded in Bab al-Tebbaneh and al-Qobbe were taken to the Islamic Hospital of Tripoli, the security official said. One of the wounded was suffering a severe wound to the head.
  
Three other people were wounded in clashes at Jabal Mohsen but could not immediately be taken to hospital.
  
Bab al-Tebbaneh and al-Qobbe are mainly Sunni districts while residents of Jabal Mohsen are predominantly Alawites.
  
A military spokesman told AFP that "the army is still deployed in the zone which separates the two sides and has not altered its position.
  
"The fighting has eased in intensity and we are working to contain them," the spokesman added.
  
Shortly afterwards, an AFP correspondent in the city said gunfire could no  longer be heard.
  
Similar clashes took place in various regions early in May when 65 people were killed, stoking fears that the country, which endured 15 years of civil war up to 1990, was heading for a new conflict.
  
Last Tuesday, three people were killed in clashes betwen pro- and anti-government residents in two villages in the Bekaa, in eastern Lebanon, according to a Lebanese military official.
  
An accord reached in Doha on May 21 between the opposition and government ended an 18-month-long political crisis which sparked the clashes. The agreement resulted in the election of Michel Sleimane as president, ending a six-month vacuum in the top job.
  
Sunday's clashes occurred amid a continuing failure to set up a national unity government, which was envisaged by the Doha agreement.

Date created : 2008-06-22

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