Syria-fueled violence leaves four dead, 20 wounded in Lebanon


BEIRUT, Lebanon — At least four people were killed today in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli amid clashes between opponents and backers of the Syrian regime, police officials said.

The fighting involved rival gunmen from the Tripoli neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Moshen.

The dead included a 15-year-old-boy. Twenty people were wounded, among them a Lebanese army officer and six soldiers.

The violence started when an Alawite resident of Jabal Mohsen, which is home to many supporters of the Syrian regime, was shot in Bab al-Tabbaneh, a mainly Sunni district where many people back rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Snipers from both sides soon took aim at each other, said police and witnesses.

The fighting prompted shops in the area to close and the army to intervene. The Lebanese army in a statement said that it is responding.

The 32-month conflict in neighboring Syria has repeatedly spilled over into Lebanon, where al-Assad’s backers and opponents have occasionally engaged in deadly fighting.