SIDON, Lebanon: At least seven people were wounded in renewed clashes Tuesday between the mainstream Fatah movement and radical Islamists in south Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh.
The sound of sporadic gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades reverberated across the sprawling camp.
Although not involved in the clashes, a rocket-propelled grenade hit an office belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Five PFLP members were wounded. The other two casualties were passers-by.
The clashes bewteen Fatah members and rivals from the Fatah al-Islam radical group broke out around 10 a.m.
Two hours into the fighting, some of Ain al-Hilweh’s residents roamed the camp’s streets, calling on people through loudspeakers to take part in a demonstration to condemn the clashes.
Braving the gunfire, a crowd of about 700 people managed to march from the camp’s lower street to an upper road – where the heaviest fighting was taking place - forcing the gunmen to withdraw.
The clashes came a day after former Fatah al-Islam member Bilal Badr and his brother, Ahmad, were shot and wounded as they drove through the camp’s Al-Tayri neighborhood on their motorbike.
One person was killed and five wounded in the ensuing clash Monday evening.