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May 21, 2012 11:07 am

Deadly Shooting in Lebanon Spurs Concern Over Syria Conflict Widening

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Pro-Assad demonstration in Beirut. Photo: wiki commons.

CS Monitor – An overnight gun battle between rival factions in Beirut marks the worst bout of political violence in four years as the Syrian uprising increasingly spills over into neighboring Lebanon, exacerbating sectarian tensions.

The fighting, which left three dead, capped a day of escalating friction. The fatal shooting of a Sunni cleric by Lebanese soldiers yesterday tapped into a deep sense of frustration and anger felt by many Sunnis here toward the Syrian regime’s brutal crackdown on the mainly Sunni opposition. Though Lebanon’s government is headed by a Sunni, it is backed by Damascus and some believe it is cooperating with the Syrian crackdown.

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