Monday, May 21, 2007

Fighting at Nahr al-Bared refugee camp (Lebanon)

Lebanese troops and militants of Fatah Islam have been fighting for a second day at the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp (North Lebanon). Follow this link to place the Nahr al-Bared camp in google maps, or read this google earth community message.

According to Yahoo news:
- "Lebanese troops pounded a Palestinian refugee camp with artillery and tank fire for a second day Monday, raising huge columns of smoke as they battled a militant group suspected of ties to al-Qaida in the worst violence since the end of the 1975-90 civil war."
- "Nearly 50 combatants were killed in the first day of fighting Sunday, but it was not known how many civilians have been killed inside the Nahr el-Bared camp on the outskirts of the northern port city of Tripoli."

According to Aljazeera,
- "Fighting between the Lebanese army and an armed Palestinian group at a refugee camp in northern Lebanon is escalating, despite appeals for a truce to allow humanitarian missions into the camp."
- Abu Salim, a spokesman for Fatah al-Islam, issued an ultimatum to the military on Monday, saying the group would take its battle "outside" the camp if the military did not back down.

According to,
- "In what observers say is the worst fighting to hit Tripoli in two decades, army tanks opened fire on positions inside Nahr al-Bared camp held by militants from Fatah Islam, a Sunni al-Qaeda-styled group. ".
- "Sunday's violence began shortly after dawn when police raided a militant-occupied apartment on a major thoroughfare in Tripoli. Authorities said police were looking for suspects of a bank robbery a day earlier in Amyoun, a town southeast of Tripoli. Local media reported the gunmen to be members of Fatah Islam. The armed militants resisted arrest and a gun battle ensued. It spread to surrounding streets and continued through the afternoon."
- "After suffering its heaviest losses in many years, security analysts predict the Lebanese army may increase its military presence around all Palestinian refugee camps, home to over half of Lebanon's more than 400,000 Palestinian refugees, further limiting public access and damaging an already fragile economic and social environment."
- "Abu Saleem Taha, spokesman for Fatah Islam, told IRIN from inside the camp that militants from the group had attacked the army in retaliation for an incident the previous day in which he claimed Lebanese soldiers had opened fire on Fatah Islam members as they entered the camp. The army was not immediately available for comment on the allegation. "God is testing us and we will serve his cause," said Taha. "We are ready to continue our fight against the Lebanese army and we know that our brothers in the other camps will not stand still if the situation continues."

Read more here:
- Yahoo news. Lebanese army shells refugee camp.
- GlobalSecurity. LEBANON: Palestinians face siege after 11 Lebanese soldiers killed.
- BBC News. Fighting rages in Lebanese camp.
- Fresh clashes in northern Lebanon. BBC News.
- Clashes intensify at Lebanon camp. Aljazeera.


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