A Lebanese security official says five people have been killed in overnight gun battles between opponents and supporters of the Syrian regime in the Lebanese city of Tripoli.

The death toll is now 16 in Tripoli fighting since clashes erupted there Sunday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the overall number of wounded has reached 190.

Tripoli has been a frequent scene of clashes between opponents and supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad who live in adjacent neighbourhoods.

The official says the clashes late Wednesday were the heaviest this week, with fighters using heavy machine guns and mortar rounds.

The spike in Tripoli tensions has been linked to a Syrian regime offensive against the rebel-held city of Qusair this week.

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