Lebanon’s Tripoli becomes military zone

Beirut, Dec 3: Lebanon’s northern port city of Tripoli will be a military zone and the army will be charged with controlling it for six months, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Monday.

“The decisions… abide by the article four of the country’s defence law,” Mikati was quoted as saying by Lebanon’s National News Agency, Xinhua reported.

Mikati, along with President Michel Suleiman and army chief Jean Qahwaji, addressed Monday the deteriorating situation in the northern port city, emphasising the need to control recent bouts of violence with increased security.

At least 12 people have been killed in clashes between the Sunni-populated neighbourhood of Bab al-Tebbaneh and the neighbouring Alawite-dominated Jabal Mohsen.

The fighting began Saturday after a Jabal Mohsen resident became the latest victim in a series of shooting attacks against Alawites in the city.