(Vatican Radio) Gunmen loyal to opposite sides in neighbouring Syria's civil war battled
in the streets of northern Lebanon on Wednesday. At least 5 people have been killed
and 45 wounded from two days of fighting. The conflict which has spilled out into
Lebanon brought Lebanese troops out in force on to the streets of the city of Tripoli
to calm the fighting.
Major roads where closed because of sniper fire and member
of the army patrolled flashpoint areas in armoured personnel carriers and mannedcheckpoints.
Tension had been mounting since the deaths of at least 14 Lebanese and Palestinian
gunmen from north Lebanon in a Syrian town close to the border last Friday.
soldiers were dealing with clashes in Lebanon, rebels were closing in on President
Bashar Assad's power base in Damascus.
With the unrelenting violence, there
are major concerns that President Assad could resort to using a stockpile of chemical
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Syria not to go down this
road as did US Senator John McCain who said if Assad did, America would be forced
to intervene directly.
The human cost as a result of the
conflict Syria is becoming increasingly evident. The UN's World Food Program is
warning of a growing crisis in Syria, saying bread shortages are becoming more common
and that an increasing number of people will find it difficult to feed themselves
as temperatures fall in Syria. Aid agencies estimate that the Syrian conflict has
displaced over 2 million people. Listen to Lydia O'Kane's report