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Violent clashes continue in Tripoli

BEIRUT |, with agencies - October 26, 2014, 11h10
Photo: National News Agency
Clashes were ongoing in Tripoli on Sunday between the Lebanese Armed Forces and terrorist groups in the vicinity of the vegetable market and Asmar Square in Bab el Tabbaneh.
The clashes on Sunday left seven soldiers wounded, as well as six civilians.

The Lebanese army on Saturday evening stated in a communiqué that six soldiers were killed in the fighting that rocked Tripoli and in attacks around the northern port city.

A security official also told the AFP agency that a civilian caught in the crossfire and a gunman were killed, while nine soldiers, eight civilians and six militants were wounded. One of the wounded civilians is a journalist working for the Lebanese daily Al Anwar.

The fighting broke out on Friday evening when gunmen attacked an army patrol in the Khan al-Askar area. The attack left four soldiers wounded.

The gunmen then withdrew to the souk’s narrow streets and alleyways. The Lebanese army launched an assault on Saturday morning. The clashes continued into Saturday afternoon. Local NGOs managed to negotiate a truce to let civilians get out of the area.

Dozens of civilians, including women and children, who had been trapped in the market during the fighting were able to leave when the clashes stopped, the AFP agency reported, adding that some were carried out by ambulances, while others left on foot.

According to Security officials, most of the gunmen involved in Saturday's fighting were Lebanese but were could not say if they were affiliated with any group. However, the Nusra Front, a jihadist group in Syria, threatened on Sunday to kill Lebanese hostages if the army continued to fight in Tripoli.

The families of Lebanese soldiers abducted by Al Nusra called the State and LAF to lift the siege and cease fire in Tripoli to avoid "strife."
#Tripoli, #Syria, #Nusra_Front
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