Palestinian force deploys in Lebanon camp, ending clashes

13 April, 2017, 02:14 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Ain al-Hilweh

Residents fled the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon on Sunday as clashes between Palestinian security forces and radical Islamists intensified for a third day.

According to a long standing agreement, the camp is off-limits of the Lebanese security forces.

Since Friday, Al-Tiri has been the epicenter of battles between Badr's faction and the joint force made up of numerous groups in the camp backed by Fatah Movement fighters.

Fatah's head in Lebanon said the security force would deploy in all areas of the camp with the aim of disbanding the Badr group and arresting its leader, Bilal Badr.

An AFP correspondent on the outskirts of the camp said fighting was continuing on the narrow streets of its residential neighbourhoods, with the sound of machinegun fire and rocket-propelled grenades audible in much of the surrounding city of Sidon.

During the clashes between the Badr group and joint security, which erupted on Friday at least 10 people have been killed and dozens more have been injured.

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The adjacent highway is closed, and patients at the neighbouring government hospital have been moved elsewhere.

Gunfire and explosions were heard on Sunday night, but Lebanese media said the camp appeared calm on Monday.

The factions agreed to dismantle the so-called Bilal Badr group, whose members have been accused of sheltering fugitives from the Lebanese authorities and issuing fatwas authorising the killing of people with whom they disagree.

Palestinians in Lebanon are prohibited from working in professional jobs and have few legal protections in Lebanon. They are also prohibited from owning property. The camp was established in 1948 to host Palestinians displaced by Israeli forces during the establishment of Israel.

Many people wanted by the Lebanese authorities are believed to have taken refuge in the camp.

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