Sectarian violence has not traditionally been a huge problem for Lebanon, which has organized its political system around a careful power-sharing agreement among Sunnis, Shi’ites and Christians. Syria has changed everything, however.
Fighting is now common on the Syrian frontier, and also in the northern city of Tripoli. Today, sectarian fighting also broke out in the capital of Beirut, where one was killed and 10 were wounded in fighting between pro-rebel and pro-Assad groups.
Lebanon’s military has deployed around the city, particularly in Sunni neighborhoods where some of the clashes were worst. The fighting was between the Arab Movement Party, a pro-Assad faction, and unnamed “Sunni gunmen.”
The army’s ability to tamp down fighting is very much in doubt, as they have struggled to handle similar violence in places like Tripoli, where a new sectarian street-battle erupts seemingly several times a month.
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