Two Palestinians die in clashes with Lebanon army: officials (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 06/18/12)
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Two Palestinians were killed on Monday in clashes with the army at
refugee camps in Lebanon that also left several people wounded,
including soldiers, security officials said.
The violence first broke out at the Nahr al-Bared camp near the
northern costal city of Tripoli following the funeral of a refugee
who had been killed by the military on Friday, according to a
"One Palestinian refugee was killed and seven others were wounded" by
gunfire, the official said on condition of anonymity.
News of the incident raised tension in other Palestinian camps across
the country, including Ain al-Helweh in the south, where clashes
between residents and the army also left a 20-year-old Palestinian
dead and at least eight injured, a security official told AFP.
In a statement, the Lebanese army said three soldiers were injured in
The army used "tear gas and rubber bullets, and then fired live
rounds at people who insisted on attacking (a military post), leading
to several of the attackers being injured", said the statement.
It added that youths threw Molotov cocktails at the soldiers and
torched an army vehicle as well as part of the military post. It
blamed "infiltrators" for the unrest.
A camp resident said soldiers had opened fire on the youths without
"The situation in the camp has been tense for days," another camp
resident told AFP. "Both the army and the youths were provoking each
other. We fear something bigger is being prepared, because the army
is deploying in large numbers around the camp now."
Troop reinforcements were also sent to Ain al-Helweh on Monday as
angry residents attacked army checkpoints at two entrances to the
camp with Molotov cocktails and stones.
Dozens of families fearing an escalation fled the camp, located near
the southern coastal city of Sidon and the largest of Lebanon´s 12
On Friday, the army shot dead a Palestinian and wounded three others
when a dispute over identity papers at Nahr al-Bared turned violent,
a Palestinian source said.
Nahr al-Bared was almost totally destroyed in 2007 during a months-
long conflict between the Lebanese military and a small Al-Qaeda-
inspired group called Fatah al-Islam.
The fighting killed some 400 people, including 168 soldiers.
The military controls access to the camp and has checkpoints inside
Nahr al-Bared -- the only camp in Lebanon under the direct control of
the Lebanese security forces.
By long-standing convention, the Lebanese army does not enter the
refugee camps, leaving security inside to the Palestinians themselves.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees
(UNRWA) estimates that some 425,000 Palestinian refugees are living
in Lebanon, a country with a population of four million.
Others, however, estimate the number to be closer to 250,000.
(Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 06/18/12)
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