Ten-year-old Lebanese girl killed in Tripoli clashes

Ten-year-old Lebanese girl killed in Tripoli clashes
Fri Mar 14, 2014 07:58:38

A 10-year-old girl and at least one other person have been killed in the Lebanese city of Tripoli in the latest fighting between supporters and opponents of the Syrian government.

The clashes, which intensified Thursday night, erupted between supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the predominantly Alawite neighborhood of Jabal Mohsen and rivals in the mainly Sunni district in Bab al-Tabbaneh after Walid Barhoum, from Jabal Mohsen, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on motorcycles.

The incident occurred near Makhoul Hospital in the city at around 11:30 a.m. local time.

Barhoum, a Sunni, was the son of an Alawite and also had an Alawite wife. He was a father of two and was said to have no political affiliations.

The Lebanese Army said in a statement that a patrol raided the houses of Omar Mikati and Fayez Othman in a Tripoli neighborhood on suspicion that they had opened fire on Barhoum. But the soldiers did not find the suspects the statement said, adding that army units will pursue the search.

As news spread that Barhoum had been sent to hospital, tensions rose in the city and gunmen exchanged sniper fire on the Sayde and Omari front lines. After news of his death was confirmed, the fighting spread to the traditional front lines between the two rival neighborhoods.

Fatima Ayyash, 10, was killed as a result of ongoing fighting in the city, security sources told The Daily Star. The violence also left 18 people wounded, two of whom were soldiers in the army.

The violence raised fears that the dreaded 20th round of violence since May 2008 in the city had begun.

The fighters fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns as the army staged patrols along the notorious Syria Street that separates Jabal Mohsen from Bab al-Tabbaneh. The troops launched flares and responded to incoming fire.

Due to deteriorating security, schools were shut down and students were sent home, with Friday’s classes canceled as well.

BA/BA

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