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Middle East
Deadly fighting in Lebanon camp
Woman killed in clashes between rival groups in Ain al-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp.
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2010 18:28 GMT
Clashes between rival factions are common in Ain al-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp [File: EPA]

A clash between rival Palestinian groups in the Ain al-Helweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon has left at least one person dead, officials said.

The victim of the shooting on Monday was a civilian woman, while a member of the Fatah faction, which is led by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, was reported to be seriously injured.

Nisreen El-Shamayleh, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Lebanon, said that while the fighting had almost stopped, the situation remained tense.

"The attacker [has links to] the Islamist groups inside the camp," she said.

"He is not a fully fledged member and the group he has links to has not been identified.

"However, an Islamic group called Usbat al-Ansar has in the past been a cause for instability inside the camp."

'Isolated incident'

The head of the Fatah armed wing in the camp told Al Jazeera's correspondent that the incident was isolated, that it was a fight between two men and was not political.

The Lebanese army cordoned off the main entrance to the camp outside the southern port of Sidon and dozens of families could be seen fleeing Ain al-Hilweh in fear, the AFP news agency said.

Some vehicles leaving the camp were transporting wounded people to nearby hospitals.

By longstanding convention, the Lebanese army does not enter the camps, leaving security inside in the hands of Palestinians.

Ain al-Hilweh, the largest of Lebanon's 12 Palestinian camps, is home to about 50,000 refugees.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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