[QODLink]
Middle East

Lebanese Tripoli put under army control

Dragged into Syria's civil war, sectarian splits in Lebanon's second largest city led to months of deadly clashes.

Last updated: 03 Dec 2013 17:26
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Lebanese authorities have ordered that the coastal city of Tripoli be placed under army control, as the death toll of sectarian clashes, fuelled by Syria' raging war, has continued to rise.

"It has been decided, for a period of six months, to task the army with all necessary measures to restore security," interim Prime Minister Najib Mukati's office said on Monday.

This is the first time since the end of Lebanon's civil war in 1990 that the army has been ordered full control of a city.

The army will be in charge of carrying out arrests ordered by the judiciary. The military has announced the increase of security measures, such as patrols and checkpoints, in the northern port city.

Al Jazeera's Andrew Simons, reporting from the capital Beirut, said Mukati denied that military control over Tripoli would make it a "military zone". 

"The caretaker government wants to see an end to the proxy war going on in its second city killing civilians and the local economy. But how the military will deal with the warring factions will be a big test," Al Jazeera's correspondent said.

Sectarian battles

However, residents, fighters and a local politician said on Tueaday it was unlikely to end soon despite army efforts that saw them arrest 21 fighters in Tripoli.

The military intervention came in the wake of a man’s death on Monday in Lebanon's second biggest city, precisely in its Alawite district of Jabal Mohsen, raising the death toll of three-day long sectarian clashes to 11.

In depth
 The Stream discusses tensions swelling along the Lebanon-Syria borders.

Inside Story: Is Syria's conflict being fought in Lebanon?

 Video: Tensions over Syria plague Lebanon

 Arms flowing between Lebanon and Syria

Alawite and Muslim Sunni residents of Tripoli, only 30 kilometres away from the Syrian borders, have been locked in sporadic waves of deadly violence for almost a year, killing more than 100 people.

Lebanon’s sectarian groups side with rivalry parties in the neighbouring Syrian conflict. While Lebanese Alawites back Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad, their Sunni neighbours support rebels battling to end his regime.

Sectarian tensions between the neighbouring areas dates back to the Lebanese civil war, but has exacerbated by the war across the border.

Clashes since Saturday have wounded at least 61 people in Tripoli, among them 12 members of the Lebanese army, which responded to the sources of fire, security sources said.

Four people in the city died on Sunday, including two men shot by a sniper while they were driving a truck, an off-duty soldier and a women who died of wounds suffered a day earlier.

Schools and businesses have closed down as snipers, explosives and gunfire claimed lives.

502

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Report on child sex abuse in British Asian community highlights issues that may affect the entire nation.
Taliban makes quick gains in Afghanistan with little opposition from Afghan army as US withdrawal begins.
Analysts say China moving back toward 1950s-era public trials aimed at shaming and intimidation.
Record numbers of migrants have made harrowing sea journeys to Italy and Greece this year.
In Vietnam, 40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated each year, a rate that health officials are hoping to reduce.
join our mailing list