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France calls on Lebanon not to import Syrian conflict

media A Sunni fighter in Tripoli Reuters/Stringer

France has warned against the spread of the Syrian conflict to Lebanon after sectarian clashes in the north Lebanon city of Tripoli. In three days of fighting, eight people have been killed and 75 injured.

“Lebanon must not import a conflict that is not its own,” said foreign affairs ministry official, Vincent Floreani in a statement.

Sunni Muslims opposing the Syrian regime have been fighting members of the minority Alawite sect who supports President Bashar al-Assad. In May and June 24 people were killed in similar sectarian clashes.

The dead in the latest fighting included a 13-year-old boy, while another 75 people have been wounded, including a boy of six who was paralysed by a gunshot wound and 15 soldiers, security sources said.

French President François Hollande insisted on Tuesday that France would play a leading role and trying to end the Syrian conflict and again called for Assad to quit.

Hollande was returning from a holiday during which the right-wing opposition accused him of neglecting a major international crisis.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault revealed that Paris is providing the Syrian opposition with “non-lethal” military aid, in a television interview Wednesday.

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