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HomeMiddle-EastFighting intensifies in Lebanon’s Ein el-Hilweh camp despite truce talks

Fighting intensifies in Lebanon’s Ein el-Hilweh camp despite truce talks

Beirut, September 11, 2023, At least 10 people have been killed and dozens wounded in renewed violence between rival groups in a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, as stray bullets and shells hit residential areas in the country’s third-largest city Sidon.

The Ein el-Hilweh camp has been rocked by factional clashes since late July between the Palestinian mainstream movement Fatah and hardline groups. The first round left more than a dozen people dead.

Fighting resumed over the weekend after a month-long ceasefire and has since left at least 10 people dead, according to two Palestinian sources in the camp. Six of them were fighters from Fatah and another two were other group fighters, they said on Monday.

The two remaining victims were civilians, a Lebanese security source and two Palestinian sources said. One was killed on Saturday when a stray bullet from the clashes reached a town near the camp, the Lebanese security source said.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, shared its own tally on Sunday saying four people were killed and 60 others wounded. It called for an immediate halt to the violence.

Five Lebanese army soldiers were also wounded, one of them critically, when shelling hit two of their positions on the outskirts of the camp on Sunday, according to an army statement.

“We will not stand idle with what is happening in Ein el-Hilweh,” warned Elias al-Baysari, head of the General Security Directorate, in an interview with a local newspaper published Monday. “The situation in the camp is unbearable,” he said.

Al-Baysari later Monday hosted a meeting at his office in Beirut that included officials from several Palestinian factions to discuss the possibility of a new truce.

More than 50 others were wounded, according to medical officials and state media.

On Monday, gunfire and explosions were heard throughout the day inside the camp and stray bullets hit the municipality building in Sidon damaging windows without hurting anyone, the state-run National News Agency said.

The public Lebanese University was closed and the Lebanese Army closed off the main highway that links Beirut with southern Lebanon near the camp and traffic was directed toward a coastal road.

Source- Al-Jazeera

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