BEIRUT — Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister says authorities have authorized the army to take control of the northern city of Tripoli for six months.

Najib Mikati spoke after a high level security meeting at the presidential palace on Monday following three days of sectarian clashes in Lebanon’s second largest city. Security officials say 12 people have been killed and more than a hundred wounded there since Saturday.

Sectarian clashes linked to the war in neighboring Syria often flare in the port city between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The decision is meant to allay fears that fighting in Tripoli was spiraling out of control.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.