TRIPOLI, Lebanon, (Reuters) – A bomb killed a man and wounded 27 other people at an apartment block in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli on Saturday, medical and security sources said.
The blast at dawn caused heavy damage to the building in the Bab Tibbaneh area, close to the frontline of clashes on Sunday between Sunni supporters of the government and Alawite followers of the opposition. Nine people were killed in the fighting.
Rescue workers picked through debris left by the blast and took the wounded to hospital. Residents carried belongings from their badly damaged homes. The dead man was named as Mohammad Aloush, a Sunni.
Tripoli is dominated by Lebanon’s anti-Syrian, Sunni-led majority coalition. The Alawites, whose faith is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, have close ties to Syria and the Lebanese opposition, which is led by the Shi’ite Hezbollah group.
The Arab Democratic Party, an Alawite group, called on the security forces to bring the situation under control.
In a phone call with Prime Minister-designate Fouad Siniora, Sheikh Malek al-Shaar, the Sunni mufti of Tripoli, called for more troops to secure the city, the National News Agency reported.
A Qatari-mediated accord in May ended 18 months of political conflict between the governing coalition and the opposition.
The standoff led to a violent showdown that threatened a new civil war. Since then there have been frequent minor security incidents.
The deal which ended the political crisis included an agreement on a national unity government in which the opposition is guaranteed effective veto power. But wrangling over portfolios has held up the formation of the new cabinet.