Uneasy calm returned to the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Monday after Syria-linked sectarian clashes killed six people and wounded 40 a day earlier.
As shops open, the Lebanese army was deployed and barricades were put in
areas that witnessed bloody clashes in Tripoli to stave off any chances for violence to occur again, Al Arabiya correspondent reported.
The latest fighting in Tripoli between Sunni Muslims and Alawite co-religionists of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad came amid growing international concern about the potential for neighboring countries to be dragged into the conflict.
Sunni residents of the port city’s Bab al-Tebbaneh district exchanged machinegun and rocket fire with Alawite residents of the neighboring Jabal Mohsen district leaving three members of each community dead, the security official said.
The latest deaths brought the toll from fighting in the city since Tuesday to 19, including two children.
Longstanding tensions in Tripoli escalated when 22 Sunnis from the Tripoli area who had crossed into Syria to join the armed rebellion against Assad’s rule were ambushed by troops in the town of Tal Kalakh on November 30.
Damascus later agreed to repatriate the bodies at the request of the Lebanese foreign ministry, and on Sunday the corpses of three of the slain fighters were received at the Arida border crossing, a security source said.