Neighbours at War

Channel 4: Unreported World

Reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Director Adam Pletts visit Tripoli in Lebanon, where the overspill of the war in Syria is tearing the city apart. Clashes between Alawite and Sunni Muslims take place between crowded apartment blocks where families live and young children are trained to kill. 


Guru Murthy uncovers a vicious, low-level war of sniping, assassinations and kneecappings, and meets commanders and gunmen who revel in killing their neighbours, and whose hate has taken over their lives.

The Unreported World team visits the house of one of the local Sunni commanders, Abu Ali, who used to run a snooker hall. Together with his 30 fighters, Ali monitors the Alawite houses in Tripoli’s Jabal Mohsen enclave, located on the hill above the Bab al Tabbaneh Sunni district of the city.


Also at the house is one of Abu Ali's henchmen - a man whose speciality is kneecapping those Alawites who have to venture from their neighbourhood into the city centre.  He tells Guru-Murthy that he has so far kneecapped around 45 people and is planning to shoot more in the coming days.

The Alawites regularly return fire into the Sunni district. In the streets around Ali’s house, keeping out of sight of the Alawite guns is part of daily life, with sniper curtains hanging across side streets to block the view.


The Unreported World team crosses to the other side of the frontline, to meet Kamal Sana, a former taxi driver. He and his friends are remembering a neighbour who was shot by a sniper a few days before.


Inside Kamal’s home the windows of his children’s bedroom have been blown in by a mortar landing outside.  Kamal’s wife, Rola, tells Guru-Murthy that over the last three years, living here has become terrifying.  But this is their family home and they don’t want to leave.

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Neighbours at War, Channel 4: Unreported World | Quicksilver Media