Lebanese army soldiers guard a street in the northern port city of Tripoli on August 4, 2014
Lebanese army soldiers guard a street in the northern port city of Tripoli on August 4, 2014 © Ibrahim Chalhoub - AFP
Lebanese army soldiers guard a street in the northern port city of Tripoli on August 4, 2014
AFP
Last updated: August 5, 2014

Girl killed and troops wounded in Lebanon's Tripoli

A 12-year-old girl was killed and 11 people were injured in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli in violence linked to clashes on the Syrian border, a security source said Tuesday.

The casualties, including seven soldiers, were inflicted in exchanges of fire between Lebanese troops and armed men in the predominantly Sunni city.

The source said the violence was linked to fighting since Saturday between jihadists believed to be from Syria and Lebanese soldiers in the eastern Arsal region on the Syrian border.

Those clashes have killed 16 soldiers and left 22 of their colleagues missing, possibly taken hostage.

The violence in Tripoli broke out Monday night, when some 150 people gathered near a military post to protest the army's role in Arsal, prompting soldiers to fire tear gas to disperse them.

Soldiers used gunfire, wounding two people, when four grenades were hurled at their post, the security source said.

Sporadic clashes continued through the night and the 12-year-old girl was killed and another two people were wounded early Tuesday as soldiers and gunmen exchanged fire, the source said.

And gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying military personnel, injuring the seven soldiers, the army said.

Violence has regularly broken out in Tripoli's Bab el-Tebbaneh neighbourhood, where Sunni gunmen exchange fire with their neighbours in the Jabal Mohsen district, home to members of the Alawite community.

Bab el-Tebbaneh's residents back the uprising in Syria, while Jabal Mohsen's residents support President Bashar al-Assad, a fellow Alawite, against the Sunni-led revolt.

Tensions between the two districts dating back decades have been fanned by the Syrian conflict that began in March 2011.

Gunmen in Bab el-Tebbaneh also regularly target the army, which they accuse of protecting Jabal Mohsen over their neighbourhood.

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