Tension Mounts In Refugee Camps In Lebanon

19 Jun
7:12 AM

Two Palestinian refugees were killed during clashes that took place, on Monday evening, with Lebanese army soldiers surrounding the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon and in Ein al-Hilwa refugee camp in southern Lebanon. Clashes were also reported in other refugee camps in the country.According to the French Press Agency, the clashes in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp took place after a number of refugees “attacked a Lebanese army post” following the burial ceremony of a refugee killed by army fire on Friday.

The Agency said that one refugee was killed and seven others were wounded when the army opened fire at protesters who, according to the Lebanese army, attacked a military post and burnt a military vehicle.

A Lebanese security source said that the incident led to clashes in Ein al-Hilwa refugee camp, near Saida (Sidon), in southern Lebanon, an issue that led to the death of one refugee, in his twenties, while at least eight refugees were injured.

In a press release, the Lebanese army reported three injuries among its soldiers in Nahr al-Bared and that a military vehicle and a section of a military base were also burned during the clashes.

The army claimed that some refugees attacked the base with stones and Molotov cocktails, and that they tried to infiltrate the base. The army fired gas bombs, rubber-coated metal bullets, and rounds of live ammunition.

The clashes started on Friday when Lebanese soldiers stopped, at a road block at the entrance the refugee driving, a Palestinian refugee driving a motorcycle reportedly without legal documents. The soldiers then started beating a kicking the man–an issue that led to clashes between dozens of refugees and the soldiers. The army then opened fire killing one refugee and wounding at least three others.

The Nahr al-Bared website reported that the army fired gas bombs followed by rounds of live ammunition, leading to two deaths and 69 injuries, including at least one person who suffered serious injuries.

Thousands of refugees held a protest in Shatilla refugee camp expressing solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp.

In 2007, three-month long armed clashes took place in Nahr al-Bared between fighters of the Fateh al-Islam group, an off-shoot of the Fateh Movement, and Lebanese army soldiers; at least 400, including 168 army officers, were killed and hundreds were wounded.

Approximately 31,000 refugees fled the camp; the clashes ended with massive destruction to the camp while a large number of fighters were arrested.

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Saed Bannoura

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