Last updated: 18 July, 2012

Child dies as north Lebanon celebrates Damascus blast

A child died on Wednesday as gunmen fired into the air at a mainly Alawite area in northern Lebanon after a Damascus bombing in which top regime figures died, a security source said.

“One child was killed” when shots were fired from Bab al-Tebbaneh, a majority Sunni district of the port city, into Jabal Mohsen, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Gunmen in the majority Sunni town, the scene of frequent Syria-linked clashes, earlier fired into the air to celebrate the killing of three top security officials in the Damascus bomb attack.

A total of eight people were wounded by gunfire in the Jabal Mohsen area and elsewhere in the city, including four Lebanese soldiers, the official said.

On Wednesday evening, some 200 people — Lebanese and Syrians — took to the streets of the Abu Samra neighbourhood of Tripoli to celebrate the killing of the three officials, according to activists.

“You could feel most people in Tripoli were happy today, but as refugees we really hope there aren’t any more clashes here as there have been in recent months,” Mustafa Obeid, a Syrian refugee in Tripoli, told AFP.

Most of Tripoli’s Sunni population supports the revolt in Syria, while members of the Alawite community — an offshoot of Shiite Islam to which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad belongs — generally support the regime.

The security official said “the Lebanese army has reinforced its patrols on Syria Street,” an informal frontline between Bab al-Tebbaneh and Jabal Mohsen districts when clashes break out.