2 children among injured as factions use assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers in the overcrowded camp
Overnight clashes Sunday in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp near the southern port city of Sidon left 5 dead and 6 others wounded, Palestinian officials said.
The ongoing clashes are taking place as Palestinian factions in Ein el-Hilweh for years have cracked down on militant Islamist groups and fugitives seeking shelter in the camp’s overcrowded neighborhoods. In 2017, Palestinian factions engaged in almost a week of fierce clashes with a militant organization affiliated with the Islamic State terror group.
The Palestinian officials, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said the clashes broke out after an unknown gunman tried to assassinate Islamist militant Mahmoud Khalil, killing a companion of his instead.
Factions used assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers in the overcrowded camp, as ambulances zoomed through its narrow streets to take the wounded to the hospital. Several residents fled the crossfire to nearby neighborhoods in the camp.
According to Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency, six people were wounded in the overnight clashes, including two children. The clashes stopped for several hours in the morning, though state media said there was still sporadic sniper fire.
Ein el-Hilweh is notorious for its lawlessness and clashes are not uncommon. The UN says it is home to some 55,000 people.
It was established in 1948 to host Palestinians displaced during the establishment of Israel.
Source : The Times Of Israel