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Syrian civil war spills into Lebanon

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 5, 2012 at 8:29 a.m.

— Gunmen loyal to opposite sides in neighboring Syria’s civil war battled Wednesday in the streets of a northern Lebanese city where two days of fighting killed at least five people and wounded 45, officials said.

The Lebanese army fanned out in the city of Tripoli to calm the fighting, with soldiers patrolling the streets in armored personnel carriers and manning checkpoints.

Authorities closed major roads because of sniper fire.

The fighting comes at a time of deep uncertainty in Syria, with rebels closing in on President Bashar Assad’s seat of power in Damascus.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urged Syria’s regime against using its stockpile of chemical weapons, warning of “huge consequences” if Assad resorts to such weapons of mass destruction.

“I again urge in the strongest possible terms that they must not consider using this kind of deadly weapons of mass destruction,” Ban said, speaking on the sidelines of a climate conference in Qatar.

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