5 Dead, 32 Hurt as Heavy Ain el-Hilweh Clashes Continue for 3rd Dayإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
At least five people have been killed and 32 others wounded in three days of fierce clashes at the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh in the southern city of Sidon, state-run National News Agency said.
NNA identified the fifth victim killed in the fighting between the Joint Palestinian Security Forces and hardline Islamists led by Bilal Badr as Firas Balous.
Ambulances were rushing the wounded to hospitals near Ain el-Hilweh as the sounds of rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire echo from inside.
On Saturday, local Palestinian commander Subhi Abu Arab vowed to crush the followers of radical preacher Bilal Badr.
The clashes erupted in the camp on Friday as the Joint Palestinian Security Force started deploying throughout the camp.
It came under fire from Badr's Islamist group in part of the camp, which sparked fierce clashes.
Among the dead were two civilians, two members of the Joint Force and one member of the extremist group, medical sources said.
The fighting has prompted security measures outside the camp, which Lebanese security forces do not enter by long-standing agreement.
An adjacent highway has been cut and patients moved from the Sidon governmental hospital next to the camp.
Palestinian officials in the camp called Sunday on remaining members of Badr's group to surrender with their weapons.
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.
The spokesman for the Council of Palestinian Scholars in Lebanon said the radical groups were issuing fatwas authorizing the killing of people they disagreed with.
"This has led to chaos in Ain el-Hilweh," said Sheikh Mohammed al-Muwad, in his office in Sidon. "These groups do not abide by any oaths or promises."
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.
Lebanon's army does not enter Palestinian refugee camps, where security is managed by joint committees of Palestinian factions.
Ain el-Hilweh is home to some 61,000 Palestinians, including 6,000 who have fled the war in Syria.