One person was killed and several wounded as tensions rose in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli after clashes erupted following a rocket attack on the northeastern Lebanese town of Arsal that killed eight people.
Taleb Assi died after being shot in Qibbeh, succumbing to his wounds in hospital. Assi is the nephew of Islamic Council head sheikh "Assad Assi". Ali Eid, also was shot as well.
Clashes intensified after Assi’s death as sniping and gunfire reached the Tripoli-Akkar main highway while a number of shells hit Syria Street. Bombs exploded and rocket-propelled grenades were fired. Mortar bombs landed on the neighborhood of Zahriyeh and Miatayn Street.
A man identified Ahmad Nasser was also wounded after he was hit by sniper fire on Syria Street, and a shop in Sakkat al-Shamal caught on fire after being struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.
The Lebanese Army sent reinforcements to expand its reach onto Syria Street and contain the gunfire and clashes. It also fired warning shots toward the sources of the attacks.
Following a Lebanese Army statement pertaining to the attack on Arsal, a number of gunmen from Bab al-Tabbaneh began shooting in the air in anger, after which an exchange of gunfire erupted between the Tripoli neighborhood and its rival, Jabal Mohsen. Some gunmen managed to temporarily close off the main highway to Akkar, but the Lebanese Army reopened the road.
Also Friday, a rocket attack from Syria on Arsal killed eight people including six children. The rocket fire into Arsal was one of several to target Lebanese border areas. The Army confirmed the attacks, saying 20 rockets and shells from Syria hit Ras Baalbek, Kawakh and Buwayda in Hermel, Masharih al-Qaa and Arsal, resulting in "casualties and material damage".