BEIRUT - Lebanon has charged a dozen people including a prominent Alawite leader with belonging to an "armed terrorist organization", judicial sources said on Saturday, part of a drive to control sectarian violence fueled by the war in Syria.

Around 30 people have been killed in the past month in Lebanon's northern coastal city of Tripoli in clashes between Sunni Muslims and members of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam to which Syrian President Bashar Assad also belongs. The rebels fighting Assad's forces are mostly Sunni.

Of the 12 people charged by Lebanon's military prosecutor, 11 have fled and have not been apprehended, the judicial sources said, including Rifaat Eid, head of the Arab Democratic Party, which draws its support largely from Tripoli's Alawites.

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