String of Killings in Tripoli: 5 Dead in 2 Days

Sectarian clashes continue in northern Lebanon as spillover from the Syrian Civil War snowballs.

Tova Dvorin ,

Lebanese Army in Tripoli
Lebanese Army in Tripoli

Masked gunmen shot and killed a policeman in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli Friday, the latest in a string of killings in the disputed area over the past several days. 

Security sources told the Lebanese news outlet The Daily Star that Butros al-Bayea was instantly killed at 5:30 am by multiple bullets to the head, neck and chest after assailants opened fire on his Range Rover along a major highway. 

The vehicle crashed down into the nearby Abu Ali River. No additional victims were reported. 

The assault is the latest in a string of killings in Tripoli, which has seen an upswing in violence. On Thursday, masked gunmen on a motorcycle shot warrant officer Fadi Ali Jbeili in the back from close range. He was rushed to hospital where he soon died.

The same day, three people were killed in clashes between a Sunni and Alawite neighborhood, including an 11 year-old boy. 

Concern has been raised about increasing tensions in the northern Lebanese city, which have erupted between Sunni and Alawite gunmen, who support opposite sides in the civil war in neighboring Syria.Tripoli is home to 200,000 people, with an 80% Sunni majority facing a 6-7% Alawite minority.