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UPDATE: Six dead in clashes in Lebanon's Tripoli

AFP , Monday 20 Jan 2014
Tripoli
Civilians run fearing sniper fire in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli January 20, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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Six people have been killed in fighting in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, where sectarian clashes linked to the Syrian conflict regularly break out, a security source said Monday.

"Three people, a woman and two men, were killed in heavy clashes overnight in which heavy artillery and rockets were used," the source told AFP.

The three were from the Sunni neighbourhood of Bab al-Tebbaneh, whose residents regularly clash with those in the adjacent Alawite district of Jabal Mohsen.

A fourth person wounded in fighting on Sunday died of their wounds on Monday.

In addition, two people from Jabal Mohsen were killed on Monday, including one shot by a sniper, the source said.

The sectarian fault-line between the neighbourhoods is decades old, but has been exacerbated by the war just across the border in Syria.

Syria's rebel opposition is dominated by Sunni Muslims, while the country's President Bashar al-Assad is from the Alawite offshoot of Shiite Islam.

The source said at least 45 people were also wounded in the clashes, which erupted after rocket fire killed eight people last week in the Sunni-majority town of Arsal, which is home to thousands of Syrian refugees.

Arsal is in east Lebanon, near the border with Syria, but tensions in Tripoli often rise in response to events elsewhere.

The source said troops were among those wounded in Tripoli, and soldiers were deployed in the restive districts to try to stop the fighting.

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