Soldier killed in northern Lebanon clashes, six wounded

Photo: Soldier killed in northern Lebanon clashes, six wounded / Arabic region

A Lebanese soldier was killed and six other people wounded overnight as tensions resurfaced in the northern city of Tripoli, the army said on Friday.

Army troops exchanged fire with unidentified gunmen after a group attacked a pro-Syrian Lebanese television crew - understood to be linked to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah - covering the clashes, dpa reported.

A statement issued by the army said that gunmen had stopped the crew, which had subsequently called for assistance from army troops in the area.

"This soon erupted into clashes between gunmen and soldiers, and later led to renewed fighting between the rival areas of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen," it said.

The news comes after the Lebanese government earlier this week put Tripoli under the direct command of the Lebanese army. The intervention, which is set to last for six months, came after three days of sectarian clashes linked to the civil war currently underway in neighbouring Syria. Such a measure was last implemented during Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war.

The recent clashes occurred between the rival neighbourhoods of Jabal Mohsen - home to many supporters of the Syrian regime - and Bab al-Tabbaneh, a mainly Sunni district where many people support rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The 32-month conflict in Syria has repeatedly spilled over into Lebanon, where al-Assad's supporters and opponents have occasionally engaged in deadly fighting.

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Tags: clashes, Lebanon