One Dead, Many Hurt as Residents Clash Anew with Army in Nahr al-Baredإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
At least one Palestinian was killed and several people, including three Lebanese soldiers, were wounded on Monday in clashes that erupted between the Lebanese army and residents of the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared during the funeral of Ahmed Qassem, who was killed during unrest at the camp on Friday.
An official speaking on condition of anonymity told Agence France Presse that "one Palestinian refugee was killed and seven others were wounded" by gunfire.
The Lebanese Army Command said in a statement that the three soldiers were injured in the clashes.
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.
A camp resident said soldiers had opened fire on the youths without provocation.
"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."
Al-Manar television said that the residents surrounded an army vehicle before setting it on fire.
Conflicting reports have emerged over the number of injuries, with LBC television saying that four people were wounded and al-Manar television saying around 10 were injured.
Al-Manar also said that two people were killed in the clashes.
Earlier on Monday, a military source told al-Jadeed that the army only used rubber bullets and teargas in a bid to contain the situation.
One of the youths from the camp told al-Jadeed that the army opened fire at the residents when one of them pelted the soldiers with rocks.
He confirmed that one person was killed in the incident.
Qassem was killed and three others were wounded on Friday when the Lebanese army opened fire during a spat at the Nahr al-Bared camp.
The violence erupted after the army arrested two Palestinian men who were on a motorcycle and refused to stop at a checkpoint, the source said.
The arrest prompted hundreds of the camp’s residents to block roads with burning tires and hurl stones at army troops.
News about Monday's clashes quickly spread to other Palestinian camps across the country, including Ain al-Hilweh, where residents burned tires and pelted with stones an army checkpoint at the northern entrance to the camp.
The army fired in the air to disperse the crowd. Al-Jadeed said a Palestinian refugee was wounded in the confrontation.
Nahr al-Bared was almost totally destroyed in 2007 during a months-long conflict between the Lebanese military and the al-Qaida-inspired group 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 one of 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon under the direct control of the Lebanese security forces.
By long-standing convention, the Lebanese army does not enter the 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.