- Title: LEBANON: Fighting in Nahr al-Bared camp continues as army get closer to militants
- Date: 19th July 2007
- Summary: (BN08) NAHR AL-BARED CAMP, LEBANON (JULY 19, 2007) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF NAHR AL-BARED CAMP WITH AUDIO OF BLASTS AND SMOKE RISING FROM DESTROYED BUILDINGS LEBANESE TANK MOVING BLAST WITH SMOKE RISING MORE LEBANESE TANKS LEBANESE RED CROSS TANK LEBANESE FLAGS ON TOP OF DAMAGED BUILDINGS LEBANESE VEHICLE CARRYING TROOPS AND ROCKET LAUNCHER MORE OF DESTROYED BUILDINGS AND SMOKE RISING
- Embargoed: 3rd August 2007 13:00
- Location: Lebanon
- Country: Lebanon
- Reuters ID: LVAA2NAZJWD23EWHCYHNX6JJCEAS
- Story Text: The Lebanese army continued shelling al Qaeda-inspired militants cornered in small parts of a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon on Thursday (July 19).
There has also been fighting at close quarters in the Nahr al-Bared camp and security sources said two more soldiers had died in the two-month-old battle.
They said one soldier was killed on Wednesday and the body of another was pulled from rubble, raising the army toll to 111 dead since fighting began on May 20.
The Lebanese army has pushed slowly into the camp, where Fatah al-Islam militants are holding out, after bombarding its positions with artillery and tank fire.
At least 233 people have been killed in the conflict,
The vast majority of the camp's 40,000 refugees fled in the early days of the clashes which has left the camp in ruins.
Witnesses said the army concentrated its latest artillery shelling on pockets still held by Fatah al-Islam near the camp's main road and the north-eastern part of the camp.
The militants fired back two Katyusha rockets in a repeat of similar attacks that have hit surrounding villages in the last few days.
Fatah al-Islam spokesman Abu Salim Taha told the pro-Syrian Ad-Diyar daily that his group had hundreds of members willing to act as suicide bombers if the army did not stop its assaults.
At least 81 militants have been killed in fighting. Fatah al-Islam was estimated to have a few hundred mainly foreign Arab fighters at the outset.
Repeated mediation efforts, mainly by Palestinian faction leaders and clerics, have failed to end the fighting in which 41 civilians have also been killed.
The Nahr al-Bared violence is undermining stability in Lebanon, already paralysed by a political crisis and shaken by fatal bombings whose victims include two anti-Syrian politicians and six U.N. peacekeeping troops in the past eight months.
Fatah al-Islam is made up of a few hundred mainly Arab fighters who admire al Qaeda but do not claim any organisational links.
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