World Bulletin / News Desk
An Alawite party official was gunned down on Thursday morning in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, triggering sectarian clashes between Alawite and Sunni militants.
"Masked gunmen riding a motorbike opened fire on Abdel-Rahman Diab, a 50-year-old official in the Alawite-dominated Arab Democratic Party, on his way to his workplace in Beirut," a security source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Anadolu Agency.
"Diab died instantly, and his assassination triggered clashes between militants in the predominantly Alawite area of Jabal Mohsen and the Sunni-majority Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood," the source said.
"Five people were injured in the clashes, which are still raging," he added.
According to the source, the slain politician is the father of Youssef Diab, who is held in custody in connection with the bombing of two Sunni mosques in the volatile city last summer.
The Lebanese army blocked the road leading to Tripoli and schools in the two areas have remained closed.
Clashes in Tripoli have intensified over the last three years – an indication of the effects of Syria's civil war on next-door Lebanon.
Battles often pit Jabal Mohsen, the Alawite neighborhood in which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad enjoys widespread support, against supporters of the Syrian opposition in Bab al-Tabbaneh.
Since 2008, 170 people have been killed in repeated bouts of Alawite-Sunni violence in the city.Last Mod: 20 Şubat 2014, 11:32