A major military offensive in northern Lebanon has come a step closer, after the government in Beirut issued an ultimatum to Islamist militants holed-up in the Nahr el-Bared camp.
Surrender or face further fighting was the choice; the reponse from the Fatah al-Islam faction: “we will fight to the death”.
It comes as a third bomb attack in Lebanon injured five people. Two blasts over the past week in Beirut have killed one woman and wounded several people. Yesterday’s explosion happened in the Druze town of Aley to the east of Beirut.
Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has held talks with Abbas Zaki from the Palestine Liberation Organisation in a bid to resolve the conflict. And the Fatah party itself has offered support, according to its Lebanese leader, Sultan Abu Al-Ainain:
“All the Palestinians agree to liberate Nahr al-Bared camp from this gang”, he said, “who are planning unscrupulous projects which have nothing to do with the mainstream party.”
More than 15 thousand people have fled the Nahr el-Bared camp since Tuesday night’s truce. Conditions inside are said to be appalling – with widespread devastation and bodies reportedly lying in the streets.