Lebanon army steps up operations in northern city of Tripoli to halt Syria-related clashes

Lebanon's state-run news agency says the army has stepped up operations in the northern city of Tripoli to try to halt clashes linked to Syria's civil war.

National News Agency says troops in armored personnel carriers have rolled into the city on Tuesday morning, setting up military points and conducting arrest raids.

The deployment is the most serious so far and was authorized by the new national unity government. That endorsement gives troops the political backing to arrest powerful Tripoli gunmen.

Syria-related clashes routinely flare up between two rival neighborhoods in Tripoli, Lebanon's second largest city. Such fighting has killed dozens in the past.

Sunni gunmen in Bab Tabbaneh support rebels fighting President Bashar Assad. Fighters in Jebal Mohsen are mostly Alawites, the same sect as Assad.