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Sectarian clashes kill three in north Lebanon city

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Thu, 21 Mar 2013 22:02 GMT
Author: Reuters
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TRIPOLI, Lebanon, March 21 (Reuters) - Three people were killed in a second night of sectarian fighting in Lebanon's port city of Tripoli on Thursday, residents said, the latest spate of violence fuelled by the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

At least 18 were wounded, security sources said, as sounds of machineguns and rocket propelled grenades rocked neighbouring districts that are home to communities linked to both sides of the Syrian conflict.

One area is dominated by Lebanese Sunni Muslims, who support the Sunni-led uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the other is an enclave of Lebanese Alawites, the same Shi'ite Muslim offshoot to which the Syrian leader belongs.

Tensions over the two-year civil war in Syria have frequently led to street fighting in Tripoli. On Wednesday night, one man was shot dead and at least 20 were wounded in clashes there.

A security source said one Lebanese soldier was wounded in the clashes on Thursday, as the army exchanged fire with the gunmen. Troops had deployed in the area earlier in the week to try to maintain calm.

The Syrian conflict has also spilled over into the Lebanese capital Beirut and other areas. There have also been frequent clashes in border regions. (Reporting by Nazih Sadiq; Writing by Erika Solomon; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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