Death toll in clashes at Lebanon Palestinian camp rises to 5

The toll in two days of clashes in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon rose to five on Sunday, medics said, as local factions worked to implement a security plan.

Clashes erupted in the camp late Friday as Palestinian factions participating in a joint security force begun deploying throughout the area in the southern city of Sidon.

They came under fire from a local Islamic extremist group in part of the camp, prompting clashes that Lebanese and Palestinian medics said Sunday have now killed five people and wounded at least 30, mostly civilians.

Among the dead were two civilians, two members of the joint Palestinian security force and one member of the extremist group, the medical sources said.

The fighting has prompted security measures outside the camp, which Lebanese security forces do not enter by longstanding agreement.

Lebanese Red Cross members wheel a baby in an neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) into an ambulance during clashes in Ain al-Hilweh camp, Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, near the southern coastal city of Sidon, on April 8, 2017. (AFP/Mahmoud Zayyat)

An adjacent highway has been cut and patients moved from the Sidon governmental hospital next to the camp.

Palestinian officials in the camp called Sunday on remaining members of a group led by a local extremist to surrender with their weapons. Around noon, the intensity of the clashes decreased after earlier fighting that sent clouds of black smoke up from the camp.

Ain al-Hilweh is home to multiple armed factions, and has been plagued by intermittent clashes between them as well as against smaller extremist groups.

Lebanon’s army does not enter Palestinian refugee camps, where security is managed by joint committees of Palestinian factions.

Ain al-Hilweh is home to some 61,000 Palestinians, including 6,000 who have fled the war in Syria.


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