Clash in Palestinian camp in Lebanon kills 2
Lebanese refugee camp
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Clashes involved Asbat al-Ansar, which US has accused of being linked to al-Qaida.
Islamists clashed with Fatah gunmen in a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon on Monday, killing at least two people, Palestinian security officials said.It was not immediately clear what prompted the shootout in the Ein el-Hilweh camp, where gunfights are common between armed groups jockeying for power.Monday's confrontation involved gunmen from the Asbat al-Ansar group, which is on a US terrorism list and which Washington has accused of being linked to al-Qaida.An official said one of the Islamists shot a Fatah member, igniting the clash with other gunmen from the mainstream Palestinian movement. His account could not immediately be confirmed. Two bystanders died and a Fatah member was seriously wounded, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make official statements.The echo of gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades reverberated in thecamp and in the nearby city of Sidon. Some families in the teeming campfled to safer areas. Ein el-Hilweh is home to 70,000 people, making it the largest ofLebanon's 12 Palestinian refugee camps. It is notorious for gunbattlesand tit-for-tat bombings between rival groups.A number of fugitives live in the camp, which is under Palestinianjurisdiction and off limits to Lebanese authorities. Among thefugitives are members of Asbat al-Ansar, or Band of Partisans.