Army Battles Militants Near Lebanese Refugee Camp

Bombardment escalates as death toll tops 80
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2007 9:22 AM CDT
Army Battles Militants Near Lebanese Refugee Camp
Lebanese army vehicles line up during the military operation at the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared in the north city of Tripoli, Lebanon Friday, June 1, 2007. Under the cover of artillery barrages, dozens of Lebanese army tanks and armored carriers on Friday moved against Islamic militants...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Lebanese troops continued to try to dislodge militants from a Palestinian refugee camp outside Tripoli today, extending a two-week siege that has led to the worst violence in the country since the civil war that ended in 1990. At least 84 people have died in the fighting, and more than half of the refugees have fled to another camp.

An agreement makes the camps off-limits to the army, which is using artillery to pound the area in an attempt to drive out Fatah al-Islam, a militant group sympathetic to Al-Qaeda. Palestinian leaders and representatives urged the group to surrender, and a witness told Reuters that army tanks were gathering about half a mile from the camp entrance. (Read more Lebanon stories.)

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