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Cease-fire declared in Tripoli

Aug. 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM   |   Comments

TRIPOLI, Lebanon, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A cease-fire between pro- and anti-Syrian groups in Lebanon appeared to be holding in Tripoli late Wednesday, officials said.

At least 12 people were reported killed in three days of clashes between groups supporting and opposing President Bashar Assad, The Daily Star reported. Security forces said a soldier was among the dead, and 11 soldiers were among the 66 people injured.

Fighting between the anti-Assad Sunni neighborhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh and the pro-Assad Jabal Mohsen neighborhood, which is predominately Alawite, began Monday, officials said.

The minority Alawite-led Assad regime leads neighboring Syria.

Lebanese army units that have deployed in Bab al-Tabbaneh, Jabal Mohsen and al-Qibba neighborhoods in Tripoli responded to sniper fire, which closed the highway from Tripoli to Akkar, security officials said.

Earlier Wednesday, armed men were reported sitting on window sills and firing shots at a funeral convoy for a Bab al-Tabbaneh fighter as it passed through the streets of Tripoli.

To try to end the violence in Lebanon, lawmakers met at one parliamentary member's home in Tripoli, the Star reported.

The violence in Lebanon has been in the spotlight since fighting between pro- and anti-Assad forces increased at the beginning of the year. Syria's uprising began in March 2011.

The latest round of violence was less than a week after a rash of kidnapping of Syrians and two Turks by groups seeking to swap them for 12 Lebanese hostages held by Syrian rebels.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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