Families leaving Lebanon camp

Military accepts conditions to allow evacuation from Nahr al-Bared refugee camp.

    About 70 Fatah al-Islam fighters are believed to remain in the battered refugee camp [AFP]

    Negotiations on the evacuation began overnight on Monday when Taha contacted Hajj.

     

    Zeina Khodr, Al Jazeera's correspondent reporting from outside the Nahr al-Bared camp near Tripoli, said that the army had agreed to a number of requests from the group.

    Conditions

    "First of all a temporary truce has to be in place during the evacuation process and we do know from army sources that they have accepted this," she said.

     
    "A temporary truce has to be in place during the evacuation process and we do know from army sources that they have accepted this"


    Zeina Khodr,
    Al Jazeera correspondent

    "They have also accepted the other conditions which include female army soldiers searching the wives and female army soldiers interrogating them.

    "Another condition is that their wives and children will be able to go back to their families, whether in Lebanon or abroad."

    The women and children have been inside the battered camp since May 20, when the fighting between the army and Fatah al-Islam erupted.

    Hajj said Taha told him that he would contact the Palestinian delegation again on Friday to set a time for the evacuation.
     
    Hajj said: "The phone connection was very bad and he said he would call again to finalise the arrangements."

    Safe passage

    The Palestine Red Crescent and the Lebanese Red Cross are expected set to help with the operation.
      
    The army said after negotiations began on Monday that it would allow the families safe passage from the seafront camp but the delegation of clerics lost contact with the fighters.

    Most of the about 35,000 residents of the Nahr al-Bared fled shortly after the army began to bombard Fatah al-Islam positions with artillery and tank shells.

    At least 200 people, including 142 soldiers, have been killed in the deadliest internal unrest in Lebanon since the 1975-1990 civil war.

    About 70 Fatah al-Islam fighters are believed to still be holed up in the camp.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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