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Clashes kill 2 in Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon

Militant Badr group triggers tensions after firing at headquarters of joint security force

Image Credit: AFP
Smoke rises from buildings in Ain Al Hilweh, Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, near the southern coastal city of Sidon, during clashes between Palestinian security forces and Islamist fighters.
Gulf News

Beirut: Clashes between Palestinian security forces and Islamist militants in the Ain Al Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon left two people dead, a Reuters witness said.

The fighting began on Thursday after a leader of an armed faction sympathetic to the Islamist Badr group fired at the headquarters of a joint security force comprising the main Palestinian factions.

In April seven people were killed in clashes in the camp between the Badr group and the joint security force after it deployed there.

The son of the armed group’s leader was killed in Thursday’s clashes and a member of the security forces died from wounds on Friday morning, the Lebanese National News Agency (NNA) said. Another eight people were wounded in the shootout.

The Palestinian security force commander called a ceasefire on Thursday night, but an explosion, accompanied by gunfire, was heard in the camp on Friday afternoon, the witness said.

The joint security force includes Fatah, led by the West Bank-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Ain Al Hilweh is located in Sidon, a coastal city south of Beirut.

Lebanon’s Palestinian camps, mainly fall outside the jurisdiction of Lebanese security services. There are some 450,000 Palestinian refugees living in 12 camps in Lebanon.