Day 16 of fighting between the Lebanese army and militants in Palestinian refugee camps; and the army now has a second front to deal with, in the south. Fighting erupted on Sunday and continued overnight at Ain al-Hilweh, Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp, when gunmen of the Jund al-Sham attacked guards.
Jund al-Sham is a small group that has sided with Fatah al-Islam, engaged in heavy street battles with the army at the Nahr al-Bared camp in the north since May the 20th.
There over 110 people have been killed and hundreds injured, whereas this new outbreak in the south has so far only claimed the life of one soldier. But it is another sign of the fragility of central government and the respect it commands among certain sections of the population. The fighting also raises the spectre of Lebanon’s 15-year civil war which ended 17 years ago. This is the worst violence since then.