May 14 - Clashes between supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Sunni Muslim fighters enter a third day in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli. Travis Brecher reports.
Fierce fighting rages on in Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli. At least two people were killed and dozens wounded in clashes between Alawite supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Sunni Muslim fighters, according to medical personnel. Clashes began late on Saturday, and three people were also killed over the weekend in violence that has involved heavy-machine gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades. One Tripoli resident says the Lebanese authorities have done nothing to protect civilians. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED RESIDENT OF BAB AL-TABBANEH, SAYING: "I want to know where these lawmakers are and these leaders, they only need us when it's election time. Where are the politicians of Tripoli? They only say hello when it's election time, they bribe us then, and now where are they? We are thrown out of our homes like dogs hiding and no one is asking what is happening to us. Their own children are safe but our children, God knows where they are. I have a son and I have no idea where he is." Tension between the Alawite and Sunni communities in Tripoli is being fueled by unrest in neighbouring Syria, where Assad is seeking to crush a 14-month-old uprising. Bashar al-Assad - whose surname means 'lion' in Arabic - is from an Alawite sect, while Syria's revolt has been led by the country's majority Sunni Muslims. A small Alawite sect is concentrated in Tripoli, which is a conservative Sunni city where many residents are enraged by the Syrian government's violent crackdown on largely peaceful protests. Tripoli lies on Lebanon's Mediterranean coast, 70 kilometres north of the capital Beirut. Travis Brecher, Reuters