Beirut (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Sporadic clashes erupted for a fourth day in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli on Thursday, breaching a truce agreed by local political leaders less than 24 hours earlier. Increasingly, the violence that has engulfed Syria since March 2011 appears to be spreading to its neighbours. Meanwhile, heavy shelling continues in Damascus and Aleppo as rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad continue to battle it out.
In Lebanon, at least 13 people have died in Tripoli, the last one today, and more than a hundred have been wounded in fighting this week between Lebanese Sunni Muslims and Alawis.
The two communities live in neighbouring areas in the city, and attempts at talks and a truce reached by local political leaders proved futile.
Lebanese troops and tanks were deployed on the city's streets on Thursday morning and clashes appeared to die down in most areas, residents said, but renewed violence remains a strong possibility.
Still the situation remains precarious, United Nations officials said. So far, ten Lebanese soldiers were wounded in efforts to stop the violence in Tripoli.
For three decades, Lebanon lived under Syrian domination. Damascus has always viewed its neighbour as an extension of its territory.
Even today, the country is still deeply divided between pro- and anti-Syrian groups.
Meanwhile in Syria, the death toll from shelling and attacks carried out this morning by pro-Assad forces in the capital and other cities, including Aleppo, Daraa and Homs, rose to 67, sources close to the opposition report. The figures could not however be independently verified.