Clashes in Lebanon Palestinian camp kill two

2017-04-08 21:43
(Mahmoud Zayyat, AFP)

(Mahmoud Zayyat, AFP)

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Sidon - Palestinian factions battled an extremist group in a refugee camp in southern Lebanon on Saturday in a second day of clashes that have killed at least two people, medics said.

The clashes erupted on Friday night as a security force of leading Palestinian factions in the Ain al-Hilweh camp deployed under a new security plan, a source in the Palestinian Fatah faction said.

"It came under fire from a neighbourhood under the influence of extremist Islamist groups, which oppose the security plan of the factions and their deployment," the source said.

Security force

Palestinian factions in the camp accused a small militant group linked to an extremist Islamist of firing on the security force after demanding that the deployment not extend to its area of influence.

"The security force will be deployed throughout the camp to bring security to it and there is no other solution," Lebanon's official National News Agency quoted a Fatah commander as saying.

Medical sources said that the clashes killed two people and wounded 21, with at least one member of the security force among the dead.

A correspondent on the outskirts of the camp said fighting was continuing on the narrow streets of its residential neighbourhoods, with the sound of machinegun fire and rocket-propelled grenades audible in much of the surrounding city of Sidon.

A resident of the camp's Tireh district, where heavy clashes were ongoing, said the fighting had set at least seven houses alight and trapped dozens of families.

Evacuating patients

The fighting prompted the Lebanese army to take security measures at the entrance of the camp, including shutting the highway next to it.

And Lebanon's health ministry announced it was evacuating patients from the Sidon governmental hospital adjacent to the camp and moving them to other facilities.

Ain al-Hilweh is home to about 61 000 Palestinians, including 6 000 who have fled the war in Syria.
Read more on:    lebanon  |  syria

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