Two killed in Beirut shooting: security source

BEIRUT Thu May 24, 2012 4:52am EDT

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Two people were killed when Lebanese soldiers stormed an apartment in Beirut on Thursday where a gunman had exchanged fire with security forces, a security source at the scene said.

The source told Reuters the gunman, a Syrian national, was killed when the soldiers broke into the apartment at around 6 am (0300 GMT), following several hours of shooting.

They found the body of another man in the apartment, along with rifles and grenades, and two men who were arrested.

Four soldiers were wounded, the source said.

It was not immediately clear whether the incident, in the west Beirut district of Caracas, was linked to recent sectarian violence in the Lebanese capital which has been fuelled by the conflict in neighboring Syria.

At least two people were killed in Beirut on Monday in clashes between Sunni Muslim gunmen, and nine people were killed in the northern city of Tripoli in clashes earlier this month.

(Reporting by Ezzat Beltaji and Issam Abdallah; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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