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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Monday
Sep 23rd
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow FACTBOX-Lebanon's unsettled north
FACTBOX-Lebanon's unsettled north PDF Print E-mail
Written by Reuters   
Sunday, 24 August 2008

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Aug 13 (Reuters) - A bomb in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Wednesday killed at least 18 people, including nine soldiers, security sources said.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack in Lebanon's second largest city. The region has been the scene of fighting between security forces and Islamist militants, and sectarian violence linked to the country's political troubles.

Here are some details:

* MILITANTS:

-- Sunni Islamist militants have operated in Lebanon for decades but became more active after Syrian forces left in 2005.

-- In early September 2007, the Lebanese army finally took control of the Nahr al-Bared camp in northern Lebanon, set up to house Palestinians displaced by the creation of Israel in 1948. The army defeated al Qaeda-inspired Fatah al-Islam militants in fighting that had forced most of the camp's 40,000 residents to flee to the nearby Beddawi camp.

-- More than 400 people were killed in the fighting -- the biggest death toll from internal violence in Lebanon since the 1975-1990 civil war. The camp was mostly destroyed.

* SECTARIAN STRIFE:

-- Since late June, at least 22 people have been killed in the predominantly Sunni city of Tripoli in sectarian fighting between Sunni and Alawite gunmen. Politicians and analysts have blamed the violence on political turbulence in Lebanon.

-- The bouts of violence have been linked to lingering disputes between Lebanon's anti-Syrian Sunni-led majority coalition and the Hezbollah-led opposition, which has close links to the main Alawite group in the city.

-- Alawites are a small offshoot of Shi'ite Islam and dominate the Baathist government in neighbouring Syria, ruled by President Bashar al-Assad, himself an Alawite. Their numbers are small in Lebanon but they gained some political clout during Syria's military presence in the country. -- A protracted political conflict between the majority coalition and its opponents was largely resolved in May by a Qatari-mediated deal. But the sides are far from fully making amends.

A SHORT TIMELINE:

Sept. 2, 2007 - Lebanese troops take complete control of Nahr al-Bared camp after 15 weeks of fighting with Fatah al-Islam militants which kills over 420 people, including 170 soldiers.

June 23, 2008 - Lebanese troops deploy in Tripoli, bringing calm after two days of sectarian fighting that killed nine. July 26 - The army deploys to halt two days of heavy sectarian fighting in Tripoli which killed nine and wounded at least 68. Twenty-two people have died in the last two months.

Aug 13 - A bomb targets a bus in Tripoli killing at least 18 including nine soldiers and wounding 45.

http://www.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUSLD716451



 
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