One dead in Lebanon after anti-Assad celebrations

Published Wednesday, July 18, 2012

One person died and eight others were injured on Wednesday in the north Lebanese city of Tripoli, following celebrations of the killing of senior Syrian politicians.

The victims were shot by stray bullets fired into the air by opponents of the Syrian regime supporters in celebration at the news of the deaths of several Syrian officials in a bombing in Damascus earlier in the day.

A bomb at a key security building in Damascus killed Syrian Defense Minister Daoud Abdullah Rajiha and Assef Shawkat, President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law.

An Al Akhbar correspondent in Tripoli said it appeared that the injuries and killings had been accidental, but described the atmosphere in Lebanon's second city as tense.

Tripoli has witnessed several clashes recently between residents of the Jabal Mohsen district, home to members of the Alawi sect to which Assad belongs, and Sunni Muslims from the neighboring Bab al-Tabbaneh.

Animosity between the two groups is long standing but the uprising in Syria threatens to aggravate existing differences along pro and anti-regime lines.

(Al-Akhbar, AFP)

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