Lebanese Assault on Refugee Camp Intensifies

Latest battle may be final push
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2007 1:34 PM CDT
Lebanese Assault on Refugee Camp Intensifies
Smoke billows from damaged buildings hit by a Lebanese army artillery shell, during a fighting with Islamic militants, at the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared, in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Friday July 13, 2007. Islamic militants fired back volleys of rockets at the Lebanese army...   (Associated Press)

Lebanon is denying that its latest round of strikes on a Palestinian refugee camp constitute the final showdown with militants holed up inside, the AP reports. Militants in the densely packed warren of buildings exchanged heavy fire with the army encircling them today and shot nine rockets into nearby villages, orange groves and vineyards.

The battle, which began on May 20, forced nearly all of the 30,000 refugees to flee the camp. The Lebanese army declared victory in late June, but the Fatah Islam fighters re-grouped. Nearly 100 soldiers, 60 militants and 20 refugees have died in Lebanon’s worst internal bloodshed since its decades-old civil war. (More refugee camp stories.)

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