Arsal, Lebanon
Arsal, Lebanon

The Lebanese army says at least three of its soldiers have been killed in fierce fighting with Islamist gunmen in the northern city of Tripoli.

The Reuters news agency reports Lebanese forces Saturday used helicopters to blast rockets at the gunmen in the morning and moved in on their positions in the afternoon. The exact affiliation of the gunmen was unclear.

The army says its forces captured some of the gunmen, but others managed to escape. Authorities say large stockpiles of weapons and ammunition were seized from the gunmen.

Tripoli has seen repeated clashes between Sunni militants who support the rebels in neighboring Syria and Shi'ites siding with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Shi'ite movement Hezbollah has sent fighters to support Assad's troops. Sunni militants in Lebanon have accused the Lebanese army of working with Hezbollah.

Security forces have insisted they are not working in cooperation with Hezbollah.

Some information for this report comes from Reuters.

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