28 dead in Lebanon Sunni-Alawite clashes

28 dead in Lebanon Sunni-Alawite clashes

TRIPOLI, Lebanon - Agence France-Presse
28 dead in Lebanon Sunni-Alawite clashes

Lebanese army's soldiers sit on armoured personal carriers (APC) mounted with anti-aircraft heavy machine gun on May 24, in a street of the Alawite neighbourhood of Jabal Mohsen in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. AFP photo

Firefights in northern Lebanon between Sunni Muslims and Alawites - the Shiite offshoot sect to which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad belongs - have killed 28 people, a security source said on May 25.

Rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and machineguns have all been used in six days of clashes in the port city, in the deadliest violence to rock the country for years.

Most of the fighting has been between residents of the Sunni Bab el-Tebbaneh district, who support the rebels battling to topple Assad, and people in the Jabal Mohsen Alawite area who back him.

Four people from Bab el-Tebbaneh were reported dead overnight, the security source said, including one who died of his wounds, and one was reported killed in the opposite camp. The clashes subsided at dawn, but snipers were still operating in the area.

At least 204 people have also been wounded in the fighting that erupted in Tripoli on May 19, the source told AFP. May 23 was the bloodiest day with 11 killed.