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Clashes in Palestinian refugee camp, 5 killed

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Beirut

Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp is near the southern port city of Sidon Heavy clashes broke out on Sunday. At least five people were killed and seven others were injured in the incident. At the same time, the Palestinian group Fatah confirmed the death of commander Ashraf al-Armochi and four of his companions during an operation.

Faction Fatah condemns the despicable and cowardly crime aimed at undermining the security and stability of Palestinian camps in Lebanon. At the same time, Palestinian officials said on the condition of anonymity that an unknown gunman tried to kill Mahmoud Khalil, a member of the armed group. Though nothing happened to Khalil, one of his companions was killed. Fighting then broke out in the Ein al-Hilway camp. At least five people were killed in the incident. At the same time, seven people have been injured. Lebanon’s government agency says two children are among the injured.

The Lebanese army said a mortar shell hit a military barracks outside the camp. Due to this one soldier was injured, whose condition is stable. The Ein al-Hilway camp is known for its lawlessness. Violence is common there. The United Nations says about 55,000 people live in the camp, which was established by the Israeli army in 1948 to house displaced Palestinians, known by Palestinians as the Naqba. At the same time, according to UNRWA, more than 450,000 Palestinians live in Lebanon. Most of these people live in one of 12 refugee camps.

There were clashes between groups with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers and grenades were thrown at the camp. Fighting halted for several hours in the morning. However, according to a media report, sporadic firing is still taking place. Fighting is said to have flared up again following the killing of the Palestinian general and his guards. The shootings caused some residents of the Sidon neighbourhood near the camp to flee their homes. Here bullets struck buildings and shattered windows and storefronts. The public Sidon General Hospital asked its staff and patients to leave. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), two schools were also damaged due to the clash. About two thousand students used to study here. Meanwhile, Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned the clashes.

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