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Attack on Lebanese army bus wounds 7 soldiers; troops clash with rebels from Syria near border

  • Mideast Lebanon Syria-1.jpg

    Lebanese army soldiers flash victory signs while in an armored personnel carrier as reinforcements arrive to the outskirts of Arsal, a predominantly Sunni Muslim town near the Syrian border in eastern Lebanon, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Thousands of Lebanese civilians and Syrian refugees packed cars and pickup trucks Monday, fleeing an eastern border town that was overrun by militants from neighboring Syria as Lebanese troops fight to liberate the area. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Lebanon Syria-2.jpg

    Lebanese army soldiers sit on top of a military truck as reinforcements arrive to the outskirts of Arsal, a predominantly Sunni Muslim town near the Syrian border in eastern Lebanon, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Thousands of Lebanese civilians and Syrian refugees packed cars and pickup trucks Monday, fleeing an eastern border town that was overrun by militants from neighboring Syria as Lebanese troops fight to liberate the area. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Lebanon Syria-3.jpg

    Lebanese army soldiers prepare to deploy toward Arsal, a predominantly Sunni Muslim town near the Syrian border in eastern Lebanon, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Thousands of Lebanese civilians and Syrian refugees packed cars and pickup trucks Monday, fleeing an eastern border town that was overrun by militants from neighboring Syria as Lebanese troops fight to liberate the area. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) (The Associated Press)

The Lebanese army says unknown gunmen have opened fire at a bus carrying soldiers in northern Lebanon, wounding seven.

Tuesday's shooting in the city of Tripoli appears related to the fierce fighting between Lebanese troops and Sunni extremists from Syria in the eastern town of Arsal near the Lebanon-Syria border.

Like Arsal, Tripoli is predominantly Sunni and many residents back the overwhelmingly Sunni rebels in Syria trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad.

Gunmen have opened fire at troops on several occasions in Tripoli since last weekend, when the extremists overran Arsal, sparking the clashes with Lebanese troops.

Arsal's fighting is the first time that militants battling Assad have carried out a large-scale incursion into Lebanon. A Lebanese security official says that 17 soldiers have been killed in Arsal since Saturday.