One killed in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli

TRIPOLI, Lebanon Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:50pm GMT

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TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Reuters) - One person was shot dead and more than 20 were wounded by gunfire in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Wednesday, security sources said, in sectarian violence fuelled by the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

The dead man was from the Jabal Mohsen district, an enclave of Alawite residents in the mainly Sunni Muslim port city. Most Sunni Muslims in Lebanon support the uprising against Assad, who is from the Syria's Alawite minority.

Tensions over the Syrian crisis have frequently led to street fighting in Tripoli, most recently in December when at least 12 people were killed.

Wednesday's clashes appear to have started with a dispute in a Tripoli hospital which led to a shootout in which three people were wounded.

Shooting then broke out between Jabal Mohsen and the Sunni district of Bab Tebbaneh. Residents said most of the casualties were in the Alawite neighbourhood.

Tripoli's sectarian divisions have made it a flashpoint within Lebanon, although the conflict in Syria has also spilled over into Lebanese border areas and the capital Beirut has also seen occasional violence.

(Reporting by Nazih Siddiq; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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