Militias battle anew in Lebanon’s Tripoli, army arrests 21 fighters

Lebanese army soldiers man a checkpoint during a patrol in TripoliBy Oliver Holmes and Laila Bassam TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Reuters) – Clashes resumed on Tuesday between Lebanese militias who back opposing sides of Syria's war and 21 fighters were arrested by the army as it pursued a six-month-long mandate to end bloodshed battering the city of Tripoli. The conflict between the majority Sunni Muslim Bab al-Tabbaneh district and the adjacent Alawite neighborhood of Jebel Mohsen in Tripoli has killed over 100 people this year. The two neighborhoods have been in on-off conflict since the 1980s but the 2-1/2-year-old civil war in neighboring Syria pitting Alawite President Bashar al-Assad against majority Sunni rebels has opened old wounds on both sides in Tripoli, and fighting has become more frequent and intense. Over the weekend, the relatives of the car bomb victims protested in a Tripoli square, demanding that leading Alawite political leaders be arrested and calling for Jebel Mohsen's electricity and water supplies to be cut off.



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