BEIRUT (AFP) - The army deployed across much of Lebanon on Sunday after Hezbollah ceded control of west Beirut but clashes raged on in the north and in the Druze mountains as Arab foreign ministers held crisis talks. Heavy machine-gun fire and loud explosions echoed through a number of villages in the district of Aley as Druze majority leader Walid Jumblatt urged his rival Talal Arslan, who is allied with the Hezbollah-led Opposition, to place the area under army control. "Civil peace and halting the destruction are paramount," Jumblatt told Lebanese television. He also asked his supporters to lay down their weapons. Arslan also called on Opposition fighters to halt the fighting. Shortly after the appeals the army began deploying in the area. A security official told AFP that the casualty toll from five days of fighting that have raised the spectre of renewed civil war now totals 42 dead and 164 wounded. Earlier on Sunday the army moved into the main northern city of Tripoli where fierce sectarian clashes left one woman dead and at least five people wounded overnight. Calm returned to the capital Beirut after four days of deadly violence between supporters of Hezbollah and people loyal to the government. However, some barricades put up by Hezbollah remained in place and the road to Beirut airport was shut for a fifth straight day, in the face of a continuing civil disobedience campaign by the Opposition. The Future Movement of Sunni Prime Minister Fuad Siniora accused its opponents of launching a "jihad" (Muslim holy war) on the Lebanese capital and of trying to "turn Beirut into another Baghdad," in an allusion to the sectarian killing that has gripped the Iraqi capital. Many Lebanese, including cabinet ministers, observed a minute of silence on Sunday for the victims of the violence, heeding a call by the embattled premier who described Hezbollah's power grab as an armed coup. Syrian official daily Al-Baath said on Sunday that Hezbollah had foiled a US-planned coup to seize control of Lebanon. "The Americans launched a pre-emptive strike against Opposition nationalist forces, starting with the (Hezbollah) resistance, and attempted a Washington-planned coup but were taken aback by the Opposition, which restored order in Lebanon," it said.The White House welcomed the lessening of violence in Beirut but warned that "our concerns regarding Hezbollah are unchanged." Amid the tensions, foreigners continued to leave Lebanon by road to Syria, although the eastern border crossing of Masnaa was still blocked by pro-government supporters. Pope Benedict XVI condemned the sectarian fighting. "I beg the Lebanese to end clashes which are leading this country" to the point of no return, he said. Amid the tensions, foreigners on Sunday continued to leave Lebanon by road to Syria, although the eastern border crossing of Masnaa was still blocked by pro-government supporters.