7 killed in clashes in Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camptext_fields
Beirut: Violent armed clashes broke out in Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp Ain Al-Helweh on Wednesday, killing at least seven people and injuring 24 others, state media reported.
The refugee camp near the southern city of Sidon witnessed the clashes in which machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades were used. Flare bombs were also used, for the first time within the refugee camp.
According to the state media, the violence erupted just a few hours after the Palestinian factions in the refugee camp agreed to a ceasefire during their meeting with Prime Minister Najib Mikati earlier in the day.
In the meeting, they agreed to "work to facilitate the return of those forced from their homes and vacate schools as soon as possible".
The clashes prompted significant displacement in Sidon and its surrounding areas, as well as the southern Sidon highway and several neighbourhoods near the camp were also struck by stray bullets.
According to reports, in the new wave of violence in the camp since September 7, 20 people have been killed and 140 injured so far.
Clashes between rival groups often occur in the Ain Al-Helweh camp. Between July 29 and August 3, clashes between members of the Palestinian Fatah movement and Islamic activists in the camp killed over 13 people and injured dozens of others.
With inputs from IANS