The National News Agency said on Saturday that the army was making "important progress" and "tightening the noose on the Fatah Islam gang until it is eliminated".


The army said it had taken control of a number of buildings that had been used by Fatah al-Islam to harbour snipers and was clearing the buildings of mines on Friday and Saturday.

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In an apparent attempt to expand the conflict zone outside the camp, Fatah al-Islam launched 19 Katyusha rockets on Friday that hit villages next to the camp, injuring two people.

Lebanese officials claimed victory on June 21 after soldiers seized Fatah al-Islam positions on the camp's peripheries, but the fighters retreated into an area of densely packed buildings and continued daily fire fights.

The army has denied it is conducting a final assault against Fatah al-Islam, which has vowed to fight to the death rather than surrender.

At least 60 fighters and more than 20 civilians have been reported killed in the fighting, the country's worst internal violence since the 1975-90 civil war.

The camp housed more than 30,000 Palestinian refugees before the conflict began.

Most of the camp's residents have already fled, but a few thousand are thought to have stayed in their homes.