Automatic firearms and RPG rocket launchers were used in a battle between the rival groups that started on Saturday, when Sunni activists responded to the arrest of one of their leaders, Shadi al Mawlawi, accused of being in contact with an ''armed terrorist group." But his supporters say that all he has done is support the Syrian opposition. Yesterday the Lebanese media reported two casualties: one man was shot dead early in the morning on the balcony of his house, another was killed in the Alawite Jabal Mohsen district, in clashes between militias of this district and the bordering Sunni quarter of Bab al Tabaneh.
The army, which is using armoured vehicles, is trying to take control of the areas again. But the situation continues to be tense, while a sit-in against the arrest of Mawlawi was organized on the central Nur Square, far away from the two quarters involved in the clashes. Tensions between Sunnis and Alawis have been rising for months in Tripoli. Beirut fears that the violence in Syria, which has much to say in Lebanon, may spread to Lebanon itself. Yesterday Prime Minister Najib Miqati, who leads the pro-Syrian government, visited Tripoli, where he is from. President Michel Suleiman has examined the situation in a meeting with Interior Minister Marwan Charbel. ''All parties,'' said Suleiman, ''must be aware of the danger of creating instability in Lebanon." Former premier Saad Hariri, who opposes the Syrian regime, has asked to ease tensions to avoid ''chaos." (ANSAmed).