Shelling of Lebanon camp continues

Some Fatah al-Islam fighters surrender amid more fighting in Nahr al-Bared camp.

    Lebanese forces have been battling Fatah al-Islam fighters for two weeks now [AFP]

    On Sunday and Monday, Jund al-Sham, an armed group with a similar ideology to Fatah al-Islam's, fought the Lebanese army at Ain al-Hilweh camp in south Lebanon.

     

    Raafat Morra, Hamas's spokesman in Lebanon, said: "We are seeking a way out of this crisis as soon as possible so that we don't all pay a heavy price."

     

    Limited surrender

     

    Some Fatah al-Islam fighters have surrendered inside the camp to the mainstream Fatah faction of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, a Fatah official said.

     

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    Jamal Khalil, the Fatah official, said: "This is one of several steps that would secure an end to this phenomenon."

     

    Palestinian factions including Fatah and Hamas have condemned Fatah al-Islam for its attacks on the Lebanese army.

     

    At least 114 people have been killed in the Nahr al-Bared fighting, including 46 soldiers. The army says Fatah al-Islam triggered the conflict when it attacked the army on May 20.

     

    The government says Fatah al-Islam had instructed fighters from the Jund al-Sham group at Ain al-Hilweh camp to take up arms on Sunday and Monday, where two soldiers were killed.

     

    Jund al-Sham members could be seen in the streets but without weapons on Tuesday. Some of the several hundred Palestinians who fled the Ain al-Hilweh fighting began returning home.

     

    The violence is the latest jolt to stability in Lebanon. A bomb on Monday near Beirut wounded seven people. It was the fourth blast in and around the capital since the start of the Nahr al-Bared fighting. The blasts have killed one person.

     

    No military halt

     

    Exclusive footage


    Exclusive video of Ain al-Hilweh camp in southern Lebanon

     The government said on Monday there would be no halt to military action until Fatah al-Islam surrendered. It said the group had sustained a "major blow" with the deaths of several leaders and large number of fighters.

     

    The group on Monday buried 10 fighters at the camp but it was not known when they were killed, Palestinian sources said.

     

    Groups like Fatah al-Islam and Jund al-Sham have been able to operate in Palestinian camps beyond the reach of the Lebanese state.

     

    About 27,000 of Nahr al-Bared's 40,000 refugees have fled, many of them to the nearby Beddawi camp. UNRWA, the UN agency that cares for Palestinian refugees, has launched an appeal for $12.7m to meet the urgent needs of the displaced.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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