Thursday, May 24, 2007

Breaking News: Nighttime Firefight in Nahr el Bared

After a two-day long truce, fierce fighting in and around the Nahr el Bared refugee camp resumed on Thursday night as the Lebanese Army evacuated journalists, and intercepted a group of Fatah al Islam gunmen as they tried to flee the camp.

According to the FPM official website, a nighttime firefight erupted at approximately 8:30 pm with heavy exchanges of fire being heard from the northern entrance to the camp. As the fighting continued, the army intercepted a group of fighters attempting to flee the camp via the northern entrance. This while Internal Security Forces reported a pursuit of two Fatah al Islam gunmen through orchards in Balamand and close to area of an earlier ambush of an Army patrol on Sunday.

The news comes as the Lebanese Army confirms that it sank two inflatable boats carrying Fatah al-Islam militants earlier this week. YaLibnan reports that the militants were thwarted "when a Lebanese navy warship opened fire, sinking the two boats and killing all on board, the Lebanese military said".

In a television address to the nation, earlier on Thursday, Lebanon's Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora vowed to "root out and strike at terrorism", while "embrac[ing] and protect[ing] our brothers in the camps,"

The Prime Minister described the Fatah al- Islam militant group as "a terrorist organization that claims to be Islamic and to defend Palestine" but which was in fact "attempting to ride on the suffering and the struggle of the Palestinian people."

"You are our brothers," Siniora told Palestinian refugees, "we share with you the bad times before the good ones."

8 comments:

  1. Media outlets in Lebanon have reported that up to 6 US Army cargo planes are expected in the country over the next two days (Friday and Saturday) carrying ammonution and military equipment supplies for the Lebanese Army.

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  2. Arabic Coffee Pot12:33 AM

    Ongoing fighting for the past 3 fighting...very intense.

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  3. So is Fatah the only group of bad guys up there? Or is Hamas hanging around too?

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  4. OK, here's what Naharnet is saying about yesterday's exchange:

    Security officials said army positions came under heavy machine gun fire from Fatah al-Islam gunmen followed by rocket-propelled grenades, so the army "dealt" with the source of fire.

    The fighting between the army and the militants, which broke out Sunday, has killed some 50 combatants and many civilians.


    Also, the Lebanese Army revealed that the number of civilians killed was 20.

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  5. Blogagog,
    The group the army is rooting out is Fatah al-Islam, which is different from the mainstream Fatah.

    Different Palestinian factions exist and control different camps in Lebanon. As far as I know, Hamas doesn't control any of the camps but does have a minimal presence in at least one.

    Here's another quote from Naharnet:
    A Gaza-based Palestinian militant group that follows al-Qaida ideology has said it was willing to help terrorists from Fatah al-Islam holed up in the northern refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared.
    "We swear...that Fatah al-Islam and its Muslim brothers in Lebanon are not orphans. There are those Muslims in the East and West who will help them to victory," the Army of Islam said in a statement released on Thursday

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  6. Also, the Lebanese Army revealed that the number of civilians killed was 20.

    Thats for all 5 days of fighting.

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  7. Thanks for the info. Such an important country (especially right now), and yet so many of us (well, me at least) don't even know who the good guys and bad guys are over there.

    Stay safe!

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  8. Saniora is still pandering: brothers bla bla bla...(not necessary and counterproductive).

    I also fear that a year from now, the army will still be around the camp and "sporadic" fire will be heard, while those who left the camp will set up "camp" elsewhere (hopefully in Nasrallah's or Saniora's neighborhood).

    Look, prudence and patience is often good, but there is a time for ultimata, and that time was 30 yesterdays ago.

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