Three Palestinians were killed and at least 18 injured during clashes that erupted in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp following a failed assassination attempt on the camp’s security chief, Lebanese media reported.
Lebanese television channel al-Manar reported that clashes broke out in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon’s south following an assassination attempt on Ashraf al-Armoushi, the Fatah security chief inside the camp.
Gunmen reportedly belonging to the Jund al-Sham militant group attempted to gun down al-Armoushi while he was attending the funeral of a senior Fatah member.
Al-Manar reported that al-Armoushi was left unharmed in the attack, but one of his bodyguards was killed and three injured. The report identified the killed bodyguard as Mustafa Saleh, and the three injured as Waleed al-Basha, Tarek Badran, and Hamada Awad.
Unconfirmed reports from other sources said that al-Armoushi had sustained wounds and was taken to hospital in a critical condition.
Another two unidentified Palestinians were killed during the clashes, and at least 15 others injured, including a number of civilians, Lebanese newspaper the Daily Star reported.
Al-Manar said that the security situation remained severely tense inside the camp, where many shops were forced to close during the fighting.
Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp has seen growing unrest in recent months, with clashes breaking out on a number of occasions.
Last month, a senior Fatah official, Colonel Talal al-Ourdouni, was shot dead in the camp in a drive-by shooting.
The camp has also been a breeding ground for extremist groups due to high poverty levels among residents. Most Palestinians live in squalid conditions in the Lebanon’s 12 official camps dedicated refugees who fled their homes during the establishment of Israel in 1948.
The Lebanese army does not enter the camps, under a tacit deal agreed after the 1975-1990 civil war, and Palestinian factions are responsible for security.