I to dager har sunnier og alawitter skutt mot hverandre i Tripoli i Libanon. Syv er drept og 70 såret. Det er alvorlig bekymring for at det sekteriske aspektet ved borgerkrigen i Syria, sprer seg til Libanon.

Gunmen in the Sunni district of Bab al-Tabbana and Alawites in Jabal Muhsin exchanged gun and grenade fire overnight, residents were quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Two men killed were identified as residents of Jabal Muhsin, which overlooks a predominantly Sunni area where five people died, medical sources told the agency.

Tripoli is one of Lebanon’s most volatile sectarian faultlines, with a small Alawite community living in the midst of a Sunni majority, the BBC’s Barbara Plett reports from the capital, Beirut.

Old rivalry between the two groups has been fuelled by conflicting loyalties in the conflict across the border.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an Alawite, is battling largely Sunni opposition fighters.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, himself a Sunni, appealed to both sides to end the «absurd battle» rocking Tripoli, a city of nearly 200,000 people and the country’s second-largest.

«We have repeatedly warned against being drawn into this blaze that has spread around Lebanon,» he said, speaking of the violence in Syria.

He urged Tripoli residents «not to allow anyone to transform you into ammunition for someone else’s war».

Men det kan se ut som om statsministerens advarsel kommer for sent. Hvis ikke hæren griper inn vil volden spre seg.

Deadly fighting over Syria grips north Lebanon