Fatah al-Islam seeks Lebanon truce

Military says fighters' families will be allowed to leave the Nahr al-Bared camp.

    Most of Nahr al-Bared's 31,000 residents left the camp soon after the fighting started [AFP]
    However, Khodr said that any evacuation had been delayed because the Palestinian clerics attempting to broker a deal between the army and Fatah al-Islam had lost contact with the group's representatives.
     
    Noose tightening
     
    "The army have been shelling the camp since the early hours of the morning.
     
    "It is tightening its noose around the camp ... there are some reports that food and water are running out," she reported.
     
    Earlier, Mohammed Hajj, a spokesman for the clerics, said that a member of Fatah al-Islam had approached him overnight to arrange a ceasefire.

    "Abu Salim Taha contacted us and asked for the civilians, meaning the Fatah al-Islam families, to be evacuated and for the army command to arrange this," Hajj said.

    "We contacted the army which welcomed the offer and gave assurances for the safety of the civilians."

    Negotiations

    Hajj said Fatah al-Islam was counting the number of civilians that needed to be taken out so it could inform officials.

    A spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross said she was aware of the ongoing negotiations, but no formal request had been made to the agency for assistance.

    Most of the camp's 31,000 residents left soon after the fighting began on May 20.

    The fighting has left at least 200 people dead, including 141 soldiers, in the deadliest internal unrest since the country's 1975-1990 civil war.

    Sniper fire from inside the camp killed a pregnant Lebanese woman and a Lebanese soldier on Tuesday, the National News Agency said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    We foreigners: What it means to be Bengali in India's Assam

    We foreigners: What it means to be Bengali in India's Assam

    As tensions over India's citizenship law shine a light on Assam, a writer explores the historical tensions in the state.

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    Sentenced to death for blasphemy: Surviving Pakistan's death row

    The story of a man who spent 19 years awaiting execution reveals the power of a false blasphemy claim to destroy a life.

    The Syrian women and girls sold into sexual slavery in Lebanon

    The Syrian women and girls sold into sexual slavery in Lebanon

    Syria's refugee crisis has shone a light on sex trafficking in Lebanon, where victims are often treated as criminals.