At Least Five Palestinians Killed in Ain Al-Hilweh Clashes

Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Southern Lebanon. (Photo: via MEMO, file)

Armed clashes were reported between gunmen in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh in southern Lebanon.

Lebanese security sources said that 5 people were killed during the clashes, including the commander of the Palestinian National Security in the Saida area.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that the clashes began immediately after the end of the meeting of the Joint Palestinian Action Committee between members of the Fatah movement and the “Muslim Youth” faction.

Other media sources say that six were killed and seven others were wounded, including two children.

Machine guns and rockets were reportedly used in the fighting.

The clashes have caused the displacement of a number of families towards the nearby villas area.

Several Palestinian factions are in intensive contact to reach ceasefire and restore normalcy, Aljazeera Arabic reported.

Earlier on Sunday, Munir al-Maqdah, deputy commander of the Palestinian National Security in Lebanon, announced the killing of General Abu Ashraf al-Armoushi, commander of the Palestinian National Security in the Sidon area, by gunmen.

The Palestinian commander was reportedly killed, and others wounded in an ambush by a rival group, leading to the ongoing clashes.

The identity of the other victims is yet to be announced.

Stray Bullets

Meanwhile, the Lebanese army said that a soldier was wounded by a shell inside a military post in the vicinity of the camp.

According to the National News Agency, stray bullets also hit shops and homes in Saida, especially the neighborhoods of Sabbagh and Al-Barad and the façade of a commercial mall at the Elia intersection.

Additionally, a shell landed in the Martyrs’ Square in Saida.

This comes nearly two months after similar clashes resulted in the death of a member of the Fatah movement inside the same camp, which is one of the largest Palestinian camps in Lebanon.

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In March, one person was killed, and others injured during similar overnight clashes in the camp.

An estimated 54 thousand mostly Palestinian refugees live in Ain al-Hilweh.

According to the United Nations Palestinian refugees agency, UNRWA, 450 thousand Palestinian refugees are registered to be living in Lebanon, distributed mostly among 12 refugee camps.

They live in dire economic situation and political neglect.


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