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Lebanese ceasefire in the balance after shells hit aid convoy

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Lebanese ceasefire in the balance after shells hit aid convoy


A fragile truce hangs by a thread between the Lebanese army and Islamic militants in the city of Tripoli. A ceasefire was called earlier by Fatah al-Islam which is based at a Palestinian refugee camp that has been the subject of shelling for the past three days.

Shell-fire has torn huge holes in buildings and ripped through cars but the human cost is far worse. At least 81 people have been killed in the clashes, making it the bloodiest fighting in Lebanon since the end of the civil war in 1990. The Nahr al-Bared camp is home to 30,000 refugees and located 20 kilometres outside of the city of Tripoli.

Doctors and the Red Cross had earlier called for a truce to allow aid agencies to enter the site and get vital medical equipment and water to those worst affected. A UN convoy carrying supplies used the lull in the violence to gain access to the battered camp.

However, they were forced to leave as shells landed close to the trucks as they were being unloaded. There are reports the convoy was hit in the gunfire, killing two young men. It was the first time aid had managed to enter the camp since the clashes commenced.

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