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One Killed In Lebanon Over Syrian Crisis

One person was shot dead and six others wounded in clashes on Saturday in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli between neighbourhoods which support rival sides in Syria’s civil war.

Security sources say the dead man is from the Sunni Muslim Bab al-Tabbaneh District of Tripoli, whose residents overwhelmingly support the Sunni Muslim rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

He was killed in an exchange of fire with gunmen in the Alawite neighbourhood of Jebel Mohsen, which supports the Alawite Syrian leader.

The divisions in Tripoli, 30 kilometres from the Syrian border, reflect the sectarian gulf across Lebanon over Syria’s civil war.

But the northern city, where tensions between the Sunni Muslim majority and small Alawite community have festered for decades, has seen some of the heaviest violence this year.

Saturday’s fighting erupted despite the deployment of soldiers in both districts.

It followed reports that Alawite men were shot and wounded in three separate incidents this week, and an attack on a bus in Tripoli in which several Alawite men were beaten.

In the Bekaa Valley, the Lebanese Army said it defused three 107-millimetre rockets on Friday near the northeastern town of al-Qaa near the Syrian border.

It said the rockets were ready for launching when they were discovered.

Suspected supporters of the Syrian rebels have fired several rockets at Shi’ite targets in the area, saying they were in response to the intervention by Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah militia in Syria’s civil war.