Region | Lebanon

Two more soldiers killed as battle enters fourth month

A Lebanese soldier was killed fighting Islamist militants in north Lebanon on Monday and a second died of wounds sustained in the conflict, a military source said.

  • Reuters
  • Published: 23:37 August 20, 2007
  • Gulf News

Nahr Al Bared, Lebanon: A Lebanese soldier was killed fighting Islamist militants in north Lebanon on Monday and a second died of wounds sustained in the conflict, a military source said.

The army launched a series of air raids on the Fatah Al Islam militants, who are holed up in the Nahr Al Bared Palestinian camp where they have been fighting for three months.

The fighting, Lebanon's worst internal violence since the 1975-1990 civil war, has killed 140 soldiers, at least 100 militants and 41 civilians.

The public prosecutor on Monday charged 107 detainees, mostly Lebanese and Palestinians, with membership of Fatah Al Islam. An official wanted list showed a large Saudi presence in the ranks of the Al Qaida-inspired group.

Army helicopters bombed the centre of the camp at least eight times yesterday, targeting an area where the militants are holed up, witnesses said.

Tanks also opened fire on the camp, much of which has been reduced to rubble.

A rocket fired from the camp by the militants damaged a nearby building, security sources said.

Triggering conflict

The army accuses Fatah Al Islam of triggering the conflict by attacking army positions on May 20. The group has refused to give in to army demands for an unconditional surrender.

The prosecutor general charged 107 detainees with belonging to Fatah Al Islam. They include 62 Lebanese, 36 Palestinians, five Saudis, two Syrians, a Tunisian and an Algerian, according to charge sheets obtained by Reuters.

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