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Sources connected with Rihanna and Chris Brown say there is friction in the two camps – and while no one has been pummeled unconscious (yet), peeps are at each other’s throats over whether Rihanna and Brown should be seen in public together.

Rihanna’s PR people are said to be on high alert to make sure no one gets a photo of the alleged battery victim and the alleged maniac felon together.

They believe at this point it would be “extremely damaging” to her career.

This may explain why video surfaced earlier today on TMZ of Rihanna leaving a club around 4:00 a.m. this morning, with Chris Brown nowhere in sight.

On the flip side, with Brown angling for a plea deal to let him off the hook, his people want nothing more than to show that he and Rihanna are tight.

Obviously, letting celeb gossip sites run some pics would do that.

And then there’s this: A number of people who interact with Rihanna both personally and professionally want her to cut Brown out of her life for good.

They resent him and are outraged at what he did. Not hard to believe!

For their part, the newly-reconciled Brown and Rihanna are said to be working on a duet – which, ironically, is about overcoming challenges as a couple.

Brown’s manager, Tina Davis, who reportedly sent a three-age “booty call text message” that triggered the February 8 incident, is nowhere to be found.