Lebanese army to manage security in Tripoli for six months


Smoke billows from Tripoli's Bab al-Tabbaneh Sunni neighborhood on Oct. 25, 2013 during clashes with Alawite supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Sunni militants in Lebanon accuse the army of siding with supporters of the Syrian regime.


Joseph Eid

The Lebanese government has instructed the army to manage security in Tripoli for the six months, as violence related to the Syrian conflict next door continues to kill residents and squelch business.

"It has been decided, for a period of six months, to task the army with all necessary measures to restore security," Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s office said.

Violent clashes have killed more than 100 people in Tripoli this year.

Fighting between Alawites living in the district of Jabal Mohsen and Sunni Muslims in the neighboring district of Bab el-Tebbaneh caused 11 deaths over the past three days alone. The clashes also injured some 61 people, including 12 members of the Lebanese army.

The Alawites involved in the clashes support Syria's Alawite President Bashar al-Assad while the Sunni Muslims side with Syria’s rebel fighters.

Security patrols and checkpoints have already been increased in Tripoli. Some shops and government buildings are closed and schools asked parents to keep their children at home on Monday.