Lebanese soldier killed as clashes rock city

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BEIRUT (AP) -- Lebanon's national news agency says a sniper shot dead a soldier while sectarian clashes shook the northern city of Tripoli.

NNA said the soldier was shot and killed while he was inside a car in the city's north early Sunday.

The Tripoli clashes highlight how easily unrest in neighboring Syria can raise tensions in Lebanon.

Residents say gunfire broke out in the city Saturday and continued through the night primarily between a neighborhood populated by Sunni Muslims who hate Syrian President Bashar Assad and another area with many Assad backers from his Alawite sect.

Armed civilians patrolled the streets on Sunday. The Lebanese army said it was sending troops to control the area.

Similar clashes in the area in February killed two people.