Lebanese demand swift end to Syria spillover violence

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Lebanese demand swift end to Syria spillover violence

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Saying “no” to deadly clashes sparked by sectarian strife in Syria, people in neighbouring Lebanon have held a rally to call for calm.

They met in the northern city of Tripoli where at least 18 people have died in a week of bloodshed between Sunni Muslims and Alawites.

Business leaders, medical workers, teachers and other public servants gathered in the town hall to say “enough is enough”.

“The posters in our hands voice our wishes for a safe and stable Tripoli,” said a policeman who took part in the meeting. “Living in the same city, we should work with instead of against each other.”

“Tensions are continuing here,” according to Tripoli’s Mayor Nader Ghazal. “We hope this rally will make the relevant authorities aware that we expect stability soon.”

Amid claims that central government has failed to ensure security, the army has been deployed. But despite this and various ceasefire attempts, two people reportedly died in violence over the weekend.

Existing hostility between the rival factions has exploded against the backdrop of Syria’s mainly Sunni uprising against Alawite President Bashar al-Assad.