Five killed, 30 injured in clashes at Lebanon's Palestinian camp

Ain al-Hilweh

Five killed, 30 injured in clashes at Lebanon's Palestinian camp

Sporadic clashes that have killed eight people continued in the Palestinian Ain al-Hilweh camp in southern Lebanon on Monday, as an extremist group battled a local security force.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said today that at least two people have been killed since the clashes began.

Traces of violence spilled beyond the camp's boundaries, and Lebanon's authorities closed the highway connecting the city to southern Lebanon.

Located southeast of Lebanon's coastal city of Sidon, Ain al-Hilweh is now home to more than 100,000 Palestinian refugees, many of whom came to the camp after fleeing the conflict in next-door Syria.

Fighting erupted late Friday after Palestinian factions deployed throughout the camp as part of a joint security force aimed at combatting the influence of a local Islamic extremist group.

Ambulances rush the wounded to hospitals near the Ein el-Hilweh camp as the sounds of rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire echo from inside.

It quoted a representative of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement as saying that "ending the phenomenon of Bilal Badr is still a goal".

Salah al-Ali, a resident of the camp, said there was damage from shelling inside the camp. "We ask from God that the situation calms down so that we can return to our homes", he said at Sidon's Musally mosque, where he was taking shelter.

"Only Israel benefits from the ongoing sedition. and on top of the events is Ain al-Hilweh clashes", Berri said.

Ain el-Hilweh is home to multiple armed factions, and has been plagued by intermittent clashes between them as well as against smaller extremist groups.

Palestinian factions met on Tuesday to organize the deployment of the force in the Tiri area in Ain al-Hilweh, despite tension throughout the day.

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