The Lebanese army has brought tanks and commando forces into the northern city of Tripoli where fighting with Muslim militants has intensified.

Several tanks, armored personnel carriers and Humvees carrying commandos arrived Sunday on the edge of the neighborhood of Bab Tabbaneh that is witnessing the heaviest clashes.

Tripoli's fighting broke out Friday night and has so far killed five troops, two civilians and wounded many others.

On Wednesday, troops killed three militants and detained a local leader in a raid in the northern Dinniyeh region. The Dinniyeh raid sparked the clashes in Lebanon's second largest city.

Sunni militants inspired by al-Qaida and the Islamic State extremist group have killed and wounded several soldiers in a string of attacks in recent months.