Lebanese government troops were deployed on Beirut’s streets on Monday to stop fierce gun battles which were raging between Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims.
The delicate balance between the sects was upset by the assassination of top Lebanese security official, Wissam al-Hassan on Friday.
He was killed along with seven others by a car bomb shortly after heading the arrest of a former Lebanese minister who was close to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Lebanon is still scarred by its 1975-1990 civil war and sectarian tensions remain. Some fear the latest violence is a sign of Syria’s conflict crossing the border.
Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah group backs President Assad but the country’s Sunni’s are mostly in support of the Sunni-led insurgency.