The violence in Tripoli has pitted Sunni Muslim districts against areas populated by Alawites
Lebanese soldiers ride in their armoured vehicle as they patrol the streets of the northern city of Tripoli on December 5. Snipers have shot dead eight people in the city during three days of violence linked to the conflict in neighbouring Syria, a security official said on Thursday. © - AFP
The violence in Tripoli has pitted Sunni Muslim districts against areas populated by Alawites
AFP
Last updated: December 6, 2012

Snipers kill eight Lebanese in Syria-linked clashes

Snipers have shot dead eight people in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli during three days of violence linked to the conflict in neighbouring Syria, a security official said on Thursday.

"On Thursday morning, 39-year-old Hassan Abaydo was shot in the heart by a sniper," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Abaydo was the eighth person to have been killed by snipers since Tuesday in Tripoli, which has been rocked by sectarian tensions linked to the nearly 21-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.

Five people had been gunned down on Wednesday, and another two on Tuesday.

The violence in Tripoli has pitted Sunni Muslim districts against neighbouring areas populated by Alawites, from the same religious community as Assad.

"Abaydo was from Jabal Mohsen," an Alawite area separated only by the aptly named Syria Street from the majority Sunni area of Bab al-Tebbaneh.

On Thursday, the army patrolled the restive areas, while snipers held their positions and continued to shoot, an AFP correspondent on the scene reported.

Lebanon is deeply divided over Syria, with Shiite movement Hezbollah, its allies and supporters bitterly opposed to the revolt, and the Sunni-led March 14 movement backing it.

The country was dominated politically and militarily by Damascus for nearly 30 years, until the 2005 assassination of former premier Rafiq Hariri prompted international outrage and forced a Syrian pullout.

Near-daily clashes in border areas inside Syria pit Shiite residents who support Hezbollah against anti-Assad rebels, residents and activists say.

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