In the latest instance of the unrest in Syria spilling across the border into Lebanon, deadly clashes broke out in Beirut on Monday following the shooting death of two anti-Assad clerics at the hands of soldiers.
Two people were killed and 18 wounded in the Lebanese capital early Monday as clashes flared between rival political parties - one supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the other opposing him - the country's National News Agency said.
The violence followed the killings just hours earlier of two anti-Assad clerics who were shot at a military checkpoint in northern Lebanon.
The histories of Lebanon and Syria have long been intertwined.
Syrian troops were deployed in Lebanon between 1976 and 2005, primarily in the north. They were initially called in to help stop a brewing civil war, but maintained their significant presence, which once numbered 40,000, long afterward.
In a country struggling to maintain a delicate balance among its religious and ethnic sects, resentment from the occupation lingers.
Some Sunni Muslims are staunchly anti-Assad and sympathize with the Sunni-led uprising in Syria calling for his ouster. Support for Assad is also plentiful, particularly in the south.FULL STORY