TRIPOLI, Lebanon, (Reuters) – The death toll from fighting between Sunni Muslims and Alawites in Tripoli climbed to at least 10 overnight, medical sources said on Wednesday, in clashes that the city’s residents described as some of the heaviest since Lebanon’s civil war.
More than 100 people have been wounded in the fighting which erupted this week along a sectarian fault line between the Sunni district of Bab al-Tabbaneh and the Alawite area of Jebel Mohsen.
The sectarian tone of the fighting reflects the Syrian conflict that increasingly sets a mainly Sunni Muslim opposition against President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite minority.
After a lull, Tripoli was rocked by some two dozen explosions between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., apparently caused by rocket-propelled grenades, witnesses said. The fighters have also been using automatic machine guns.
The area is one of Lebanon’s most volatile and chronic Sunni-Alawite tensions spilled into clashes that killed 15 people in early June. At least 10 soldiers have been wounded in efforts to stop the violence, the army has said.