Lebanon deploys forces to northern city

Source: UPI

Prime Minister Najib Mikatiordered the military to set up check points and arrest people carrying weapons in public as clashes continued in Tripoli.

Several people were reported to have been killed and dozens of others were injured in clashes in northern Lebanon this week. The violence was believed to be tied to the conflict in neighboring Syria and one person died and another 12 were injured in fighting Thursday.

Mikati ordered the military on high alert amid ongoing fighting in Tripoli. Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reported armored vehicles were patrolling the streets amid sniper fire in the northern city.

Clashes erupted following the weekend arrest of Islamic leader Shadi al-Mawlawi on charges of supporting terrorist groups. He was suspected of helping Syrian refugees enter the country, sparking tension between pro- and anti-Damascus groups.

The Syrian government had a dominant position in Beirut’s political affairs before the Cedar Revolution in 2005 loosened the grip.

Violence in Syria is entering its second year. A team of U.N. monitors is in the country to observe the terms of a peace deal brokered by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, though there are few signs the fighting is ending.

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