Machinegun fire and loud explosions rocked several Druze villages in the Chouf district, including Aaytat and Baysur.
As the fighting raged there, black smoke was seen billowing from several villages.
“I agreed with [Nabih] Berri [the parliamentary speaker] to entrust Talal Arslan with seeking to put an end to all the fighting,” Jumblatt said.
“I say to my supporters that civil peace, coexistence and ending the destruction [must] prevail over all the other considerations.”
Jumblatt’s statement came as the number of dead and wounded continued to rise.
“From the day the unrest started, 42 people have been killed and 164 wounded across the country,” a Lebanese security official said.
But Beirut is now coming under the control of the army after opposition forces were ordered to stand down by their commanders.
However, the opposition says it reserves the right to lead a campaign of civil disobedience until its political demands are met.
Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut, said Sunday’s fighting can be considered “round two” of the conflict.
“This is a significant move. Walid Jumblatt was, through history, a prominent leader in the mountainous areas of Lebanon,” Amin said.
“He fought in the civil war and his fighters have a reputation for their viciousness.
“Now he is asking the opposition to quell the violence, as they seem to be in control of the area.”
Earlier on Sunday the army moved into Tripoli, where fierce clashes left one woman dead and at least five people wounded overnight.
An army officer said that pro-government fighters fought loyalists of an Alawite sect with links to Hezbollah in the Bab al Tebbaneh, Kobel and Jabal Mohsen neighbourhoods.
|Lebanon in crisis|
Who’s who in Lebanese politics
The initiative aims to bring together three opposition leaders (Nabih Berri, the parliament speaker; Michel Aoun, an opposition leader, and Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah chief) and three government figures: Siniora; Saad Hariri, the parliamentary majority leader; and Amin Gemayel, a former president.
But Hezbollah said any action against its phone network, which played a crucial role in the group’s 34-day war with Israel in 2006, was tantamount to declaring war.
It also called for the airport chief to be reinstated.
“As for the telecommunications network, the army will look into the issue in a manner that is not harmful to the public interest or the security of the resistance”, the army said, referring to Hezbollah.
The military’s action followed a televised address on Sunday by Siniora in which he accused Hezbollah of staging a coup, calling the group’s takeover a “poisonous sting” to democracy.