A sniper killed a Sunni sheikh in the Lebanese city of Tripoli today, sparking new clashes between pro-and anti-Syrian factions that demolished a tenuous truce.
The death of Sheikh Khaled al-Baradei and another as yet unnamed victim brought the number of people killed in fighting in the city over the past five days to 13 and stoked fears of a spillover from the conflict in neighbouring Syria.
A further 86 people have been wounded so far.
The exchanges of rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire pitted fighters from the anti-Syrian Sunni Muslim Qobbeh district against those from the neighbouring pro-Damascus Alawite district of Jabal Mohsen.
The intensity of the exchanges sparked large fires in the two neighbourhoods in the east of the city.
The fighting continued until around 8.30am when militiamen on both sides pulled back and a fragile calm returned.
Hundreds of soldiers with tanks and military vehicles have been deployed on the street which acts as the dividing line between the two districts.
The authorities have instructed the army and security forces "to bring the situation under control, to prohibit any armed presence and to arrest those implicated" in the violence.
The United Nations has called for international support for Lebanese authorities to prevent a spillover of conflict in neighbouring Syria.