Renewed heavy fighting has erupted between Lebanese troops and al-Qaeda inspired Palestinian militants, who are holed-up in a refugee camp in northern Lebanon. The Lebanese army is surrounding the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, determined to crush the Fatah al-Islam group. Members of the government in Beirut say the militants are backed by Syria, a claim denied in Damascus.
Troops and tanks have been in position for 13 days, barred from entering the camp under a 1969 agreement. But in the latest exchanges, machine-gun fire and artillery shelling was heard, reported to be strongest around the camp’s northern and southern entrances.
So far, more than 80 people have died in the fighting, which has developed into the worst internal violence in Lebanon since the country’s civil war.