Three people have died in clashes between supporters and opponents of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in the Lebanese city of Tripoli.

At least 25 people, including ten soldiers, were also wounded in a series of gun battles between the heavily Sunni Muslim district of Bab al-Tabbana and the Alawite district of Jabal Muhsin.

Assad is a member of the Shia Alawite minority of Syria which rules over a predominantly Sunni populace.

A number of similar sectarian conflicts have periodically erupted in Lebanon since February.

Arab states with Sunni-majority population – including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab emirates – have urged their nationals in Lebanon to flee the country following a flurry of abductions by a Lebanese Shia clan against Sunnis.