HomeTop StoriesClashes between factions in Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp resume

Clashes between factions in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp resume

BEIRUT (AP) — Fighting has resumed in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp, with heavy gunfire and grenades wounding several people and prompting residents of the camp and surrounding area to flee Friday.

Days of street fighting broke out in the Ein el-Hilweh camp between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement and Islamist groups after Fatah accused the Islamists of shooting one of their military generals on July 30. at least thirteen killed and dozens injured, and hundreds forced to flee their homes.

An uneasy ceasefire had been in place since August 3, but clashes were widely expected to resume as Islamist groups failed to extradite the accused killers of Fatah General Mohammad ‘Abu Ashraf’ al-Armoushi to the Lebanese judiciary as requested by the Lebanese judiciary. a committee of Palestinian factions earlier this month.

A committee of Palestinian factions in Ein el-Hilweh announced Tuesday that their joint security forces would launch raids in search of the accused killers. Fatah officials said the Islamist groups had launched an attack on Thursday night in an attempt to thwart Joint Security Forces’ plans to remove militants from the schools they had occupied in the camp on Friday.

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The state-run National News Agency reported that six people were injured, including an elderly man, and transported to hospitals overnight. There were no direct reports of deaths. The public Lebanese university announced it would close its branches in the town of Sidon, which borders the camp, and postpone scheduled exams in light of the fighting.

Officials at the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, were unable to immediately provide information on the number of casualties or displaced persons.

UNRWA last week issued an appeal for $15.5 million to repair infrastructure damaged in the camp’s latest round of clashes, to provide alternative education venues for children whose schools had been damaged or occupied by militants, and to provide monetary assistance to people who have been driven from their homes.

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