Clashes in Lebanon leave four people dead

Lebanese troops clashed with suspected al-Qaida- militants holed up in a neighborhood of the northern port city of Tripoli early Sunday, and at least four people were killed, security officials said. The clashes Saturday night and again early Sunday in the Tripoli neighborhood of Abu Samra marked a new escalation in the army's battle with Islamic militants after the fighting shifted once again from the bomb-ravaged, besieged Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared on Tripoli's outskirts. A soldier, a policeman and two family members were killed in the confrontation, which began with troops laying siege to a building where the gunmen had taken refugee after nighttime clashes in the area, the security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.