Wednesday, May 16, 2012

BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN TRIPOLI



On Patrol With the Army of Lebanon on Syria Street:

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Sporadic armed clashes between opponents and supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad shook Tripoli’s fragile truce Wednesday, wounding eight people including a soldier despite a heavy Army presence in Lebanon’s second city.

Armed clashes broke out in the afternoon as a group of Bab al-Tabbaneh residents gathered in the Sheikh Omran quarter, chanting slogans in support of the Syrian uprising. Sporadic shots could still be heard by Wednesday evening.The Lebanese Army said in a statement that it raided a number of buildings from which gunfire emanated and arrested gunmen, denying media reports that troops have pulled out from Syria Street, which separates Bab al-Tabbaneh from Jabal Mohsen, a center of pro-Assad gunmen.

“Upon the exchange of gunfire with light arms by gunmen in Jabal Mohsen, Bab al-Tabbaneh and Qibbeh, Army units accurately responded against the sources of the gunfire, and it is still carrying out swift raids on buildings from which shooting takes place,” said an Army statement.It said troops arrested several gunmen and confiscated arms and ammunition, adding that one soldier was lightly wounded during the clashes.

(As reported by Antoine Amrieh in the Daily Star, May 17, 2012)