Machine gun fire remains a near constant in Tripoli, the major coastal city in northern Lebanon where sectarian violence has spilled over from neighboring Syria into a constant battle between two neighborhoods.
Fighters from the Sunni-dominated neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh continues to clash with fighters in the mostly Alawite Jabal Mohsen neighborhood, and the two sides have even started trading mortar fire. Lebanon’s army has deployed to the city but seems unable to stop the fighting.
At least eight more people were killed in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall death toll since the latest round of fighting began to 18. 200 other people have been wounded in the clashes.
Officials from the city government say that they have severed ties with the Sunni fighters after failed attempts to stop the battles. The militia had reportedly demanded that a key Alawite leader leave the city, and is also demanding concessions from Hezbollah fighters inside Syria, something the local officials cannot possibly deliver.