More blood has been spilt in Lebanon amid sectarian tensions over the uprising in Syria.
At least eight people have now been killed with the army seemingly powerless to stop gunbattles between Sunni Muslims and Alawites.
Dozens more have been injured in violence that has rocked the northern city of Tripoli for three days. Residents say they are some of the heaviest clashes since Lebanon’s civil war.
“The situation is going from bad to worse,” said local man Hajj Ziad, claiming the government had failed to take responsibility by allowing armed groups to flourish.
Existing hostility between the rival factions has exploded amid the backdrop of the mainly Sunni uprising in Syria against Alawite President Assad.
Tripoli is one of Lebanon’s most volatile areas and a fragile ceasefire has failed to hold. Sunni-Alawite clashes had already killed 15 people in early June.