Tensions high in Palestinian refugee camp

Tensions and fears of renewed clashes loomed over the Ain al-Helwah Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon on Wednesday following the death of an Islamist leader wounded in an assassination bid two months ago.

    Sporadic clashes grip the camp

    Abd Allah Shraidi, who headed the Osbat al-Nour group, died at dawn. He had been badly wounded in mid-May in an attack by gunmen from Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement.

    Shraidi’s faction is a splinter of Osbat al-Ansar, a group described as “terrorist” by the US State Department and suspected of links with al-Qaeda.

    The attempt on Shraidi’s life in May, which killed one of his bodyguards and a bystander, sparked a three-day gunfight in the camp between Fatah, Osbat al-Nour and Osbat al-Ansar, which left 10 people dead and another 30 injured.

    In May, Fatah representative in Lebanon Sultan Abu al-Aynain had said he wanted Shraidi eliminated in revenge for the deaths of several Fatah members.

    A group calling itself Jamaat al-Nour threatened to eliminate “anyone who had a hand in the assassination” of Shraidi, “notably the traitors Sultan Abu al-Aynain and Munir Maqdah,” the Fatah chief in the camp.

    Ain al-Helwah is one of the biggest of Lebanon’s 11 Palestinian refugee camps across the country. It falls outside the control of the Lebanese army and hosts a number of armed groups.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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