Gunfire has rung out in celebration after Lebanese soldiers seized control of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp following months of fighting. Troops had been locked in a siege with Fatah al- Islam militants at the camp since May. But when the remaining fighters tried to flee, the army moved in. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora praised the victory as a triumph over terrorism. He added that Nahr al-Bared would be rebuilt but would be placed under the control of the government in Beirut.
Security sources say the leader of Fatah al-Islam was killed in the fighting. Experts are running DNA tests on remains believed to be those of Shaker al-Abssi. The group shares ideology with al Qaeda but there are no organisational links between the two. It has also denied claims of links with Syria.
The fighting has been Lebanon’s worst internal violence since the 1975-1990 civil war, killing more than 300 people. The dead were mainly soldiers or militants, although 42 civilians also lost their lives.