Sidon, Lebanon, Aug 1 (EFE).- Rival Palestinian factions in a refugee camp in southern Lebanon were clashing for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday, fighting that has already left at least 11 people dead and 40 wounded.
The sound of heavy weapons continued and stray bullets were flying in the Ain el Helu camp in Sidon, the largest Palestinian camp in Lebanon.
Despite the violence, most businesses that had closed since the pitched battle began have reopened in Sidon, one of Lebanon’s main tourist attractions.
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) confirmed that 11 people have been killed and 40 others injured, including a UNRWA worker, in clashes between Palestinian factions that escalated on Monday.
The clashes erupted late Saturday afternoon after gunmen attempted to assassinate an Islamist militant identified as Mahmud Ali Zubaidat, alias “The Somali”.
Among those killed during the outbreak of violence is a senior commander of the Palestinian nationalist Fatah movement, Brigadier General Abu Ashraf al Armushi, who was his organization’s National Security Officer for Sidon.
More than 470,000 Palestinian refugees are registered with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Lebanon, although slightly less than half are believed to still reside in the country.
Ain el Helu, established in 1948, is the largest Palestinian refugee camp on Lebanese territory and is often the scene of violence between rival factions, which tend to clash over both personal disputes and political incidents. EFE