Grenade Explodes in Ain el-Hilweh after Islamists Clash over 'Firecrackers'


A hand grenade exploded by accident at 8:00 am Sunday in the al-Briksat neighborhood of the Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp, causing no casualties, the National News Agency reported.

The camp had witnessed violence overnight after a dispute over “children playing with firecrackers” escalated into an armed clash between the Islamist Usbat al-Ansar and Jund al-Sham groups.

The clash in the camp’s al-Tawari neighborhood resulted in the wounding of a relative of a senior Usbat al-Ansar official after he was shot at the hands of Jund al-Sham member Hassan M., aka al-Shibel, the agency said.

The restive camp had witnessed a week of deadly clashes last month between the secular Fatah Movement and small Islamist groups led by the militants Bilal Badr and Bilal al-Orqoub.

By longstanding convention, the Lebanese army does not enter Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, leaving the Palestinian factions themselves to handle security.

Ain el-Hilweh -- the most densely populated Palestinian camp in Lebanon -- is home to some 61,000 Palestinians, including 6,000 who have fled the war in neighboring Syria.

Several armed factions including extremist groups have a foothold in the camp which has been plagued for years by intermittent clashes.

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