Sunday, June 03, 2007

Breaking News: Ein el Helweh Erupts!


A rocket, presumably fired from the Ein el Helweh camp, fell near the city of Saida's Saraya at approximately 1:30 am. Shortly afterwards, sources in Lebanon revealed that electricity in and around the city was cut. It is unclear whether the two incidents are related or not.

Reports from Lebanon indicated not too long ago that confrontations in the Ein el Helweh camp had come to an end (for now).



Trouble in Lebanon's Ein el Helweh Refugee Camp has restarted after a brief lull in the fighting which started this evenning. According to news services in Lebanon, Lebanese Army positions were attacked by Jund al Sham militants at approximately 11:15 pm, local time.

The Army was said to be sending in heavy reinforcements to positions surrounding the camp this evenning after its soldiers there succesfully repelled an attack earlier this evenning.

Reporting on the events at the camp, the official website of the Lebanese Forces claimed that the man responsible for the initial attack on Army positions, in the Taamir district adjacent to the camp, was in fact the brother-in-law of leading Fatah al Islam militant Abu Hureira. The man, who goes by the name of Haytham Mustapha Mahmoud, was killed shortly after the attack, according to the site, although at the moment it is unclear if he was killed by the Lebanese Army's return fire or by mainstream Fatah gunmen who engaged Jund al Sham militants after the attack on the Army.

Abu Hureira (around whom there have been conflicting reports of injury or death due to Lebanese Army fire) and a number of other Fatah al Islam militants are barricaded in the center of the Nahr el Bared camp in northern Lebanon after his group carried out a similar attack on Army positions outside that camp. That attack left over a dozen Lebanese Army soldiers dead. Both Fatah al Islam and Jund al Sham are known to have strong ties to Syria.

Meanwhile, Asbat al Ansar, another group thought to have affiliations with Syrian intelligence agencies and operating in the Ein el Helweh Refugee Camp, has reportedly denied mobilizing in support of the Jund al Sham militants or being engaged in the fighting. Those claims have yet to be corroborated, however.



Sources in Lebanon have revealed that the fighting in the Ein el Helweh camp has come to an abrupt stop after calls for a ceasefire from religious figures inside the camp and various mediations initiated by Palestinian groups there. Militants from the Jund al Sham group have now withdrawn from the streets of Ein el Helweh and are bunkered down in building they previously occupied in the camp.


Reports from the camp indicate that militants from the Asbat al Ansar group have begun moving in support of Jund al Sham militants currently under attack by Lebanese Army units and gunmen from the mainstream Fatah movement.

Fighting in the Ein el Helweh camp is being conducted with heavy machine gun fire and RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) fire.

Reports from the camp have also revealed that Jund al Sham militants have withdrawn from the Taamir district where they were engaged in fighting with the Lebanese Army and have taken defensive positions inside the Ein el Helweh camp.



Large numbers of civilians from the Ein el Helweh Palestinian Refugee Camp are reportedly fleeing the camp towards the Lebanese city of Saida.

In a televised call to the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, the Secretary General of the Fatah Movement in Lebanon, said that his group is moving against Jund al Sham militants in the camp after gunmen from the group threw a grenade and openned fire on a Lebanese Army checkpoint at the northern entrance to the camp. He was also quoted as saying that a number of Jund al Sham militants are in fact outside the camp, in the Taamir district of Saida, near the northern entrance of the camp.

Reports from Lebanon indicate that militants from the Jund al Sham movement have attacked an Army position on the periphery of the Ein el Helweh Palestnian Refugee Camp on the outskirts of the southern coastal city of Saida!

The attack came in the Taamir district of Saida, an area directly adjacent to the northern entrance of the Ein el Helweh camp. According to emerging reports, the attack on the Army came after heavy fighting had erupted between gunmen from the mainstream Fatah movement and the Jund al Sham group, but is still unclear.

The Lebanese Army has taken reportedly taken forward positions and is attacking the militants just inside the northern entrance while Fatah gunmen attack Jund al Sham positions throughout the camp.

Reports from Lebanon indicate a number of wounded in the fire fights throughout the camp, and the burning of two buildings in the camp.

Photos courtesy of Yahoo!News


  1. Anonymous11:32 PM

    Thanks for the updates, you guys are doing a greatt job

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Anonymous.

    Unfortunately we have to tend to non-blogging affairs for a bit so if anyone has any updates they're encouraged to post them in the comments section.

    We leave you with some bad news however as Lebanese news services have reported fighting in the Ein el Helweh camp, and an attack by Jund al Sham militants on Army positions around the camp.

    Meanwhile other news reports indicate that the Army has moved reinforcements to Army positions around the Ein el Helweh camp.

  3. Indeed good job guys.

    Quickies I just read:

    Army Gen (retired) Wehbe Katicha told L'Orient-Lejour that the groups in Ein el Helweh are smaller and less well armed that those in Bared.

    He says Bared was a main Syrian outpost for over 20 years and that Fatah Islam were professional soldiers, not the case in the South. Let's hope he is right.

    Also regular Palestinian Fatah is said to be stronger in Helweh. My guess is they may help against the Jund and Esbat etc, not out of love for the LA but to avoid the fate of Bared.

  4. Anonymous2:42 PM

    Tensions were running high in the refugee camps of Rashidiyeh and Borj al-Shamali near the southernmost port city of Tyre, state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported Monday.
    It said militants from the mainstream Fatah movement and other allied factions have kept an all-night vigil over the two camps.
    NNA said sporadic clashes continued through the night and Monday morning between Lebanese troops and Fatah al-Islam militants holding out inside the northern refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared.
    NNA confirmed that Fatah al-Islam deputy commander Abu Hureira was injured, while the personal bodyguard of the group’s leader Shaker Absi, who is known by his nom de guerre of Abu Aisha, was killed in the Nahr al-Bared fighting.
    It said the main road linking Akkar with the rest of north Lebanon was open for traffic.


  5. For updates on the situation please refer to the following thread:

    Fighting in the Camps


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