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Explosions close passages between east, west Beirut

Explosions closed the only passage between east and west Beirut Monday, while renewed fighting between rival militias in the northern port of Tripoli killed five people.

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Shells landing on the eastern end of the 600-yard Museum crossing forced its closure early Monday, and it remained shut all day despite contacts between militia representatives. The link was closed for two hours last Wednesday for similar reasons.

In Tripoli, five people were killed and 25 wounded in renewed clashes between two rival militias armed with assault rifles, grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns, police said. Tension subsided in the afternoon, and police said they returned to positions abandoned Sunday when gunmen took to the streets.

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