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Lebanon's War on Terror (2007)

33806 Views 1019 Replies 66 Participants Last post by  Beiruti
TRIPOLI, Lebanon - Lebanese tanks pounded a militant group's headquarters in a Palestinian refugee camp near Tripoli on Sunday after the northern city's worst clashes in two decades killed 13 soldiers and several militants.

The clashes between troops surrounding the Nahr el-Bared camp and Fatah Islam fighters began early in the morning shortly after police raided a militant-occupied apartment on a major thoroughfare in Tripoli and a gunbattle erupted, witnesses said.

Hundreds of Lebanese applauded at the army as its tanks shelled the camp — a sign of the long-standing tensions between some Lebanese and the tens of thousands of Palestinians who took refuge from fighting in Israel over the past decades.

"We strongly back the Lebanese army troops and what they are doing," said Abed Attar, a resident of Tripoli who stood watching the tanks fire into the camp while others cheered.

The violence adds one more destabilizing factor to conflict-ridden Lebanon, already in the midst of its worst political crisis between the Western-backed government and pro-Syrian opposition since the end of the 1975-90 Lebanese civil war.

The tiny Fatah Islam is an offshoot of the pro-Syrian Fatah Uprising, which broke from the mainstream Palestinian Fatah movement in the early 1980s and has headquarters in Syria.

Some Lebanese security officials now consider Fatah Islam a radical Sunni Muslim group with ties to al-Qaida, or at least al-Qaida style militancy and doctrine. But some anti-Syrian government officials say they are a front for Syrian military intelligence aimed at destabilizing Lebanon.

Syria, which has been fighting its own Sunni militancy, said it had temporarily closed two border crossings with northern Lebanon because of safety concerns over the clashes.

A Fatah Islam spokesman, Abu Salim, said two militants were killed and five wounded inside the camp.

"Many houses have been destroyed," he told The Associated Press by phone from inside the camp.

A senior security official said a high-ranking member of Fatah Islam, known as Abu Yazan, was among those killed. Security officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Abu Salim said he had no information on the report.

The fighting injured 19 soldiers and 14 police officers, security officials said. Camp residents said at least 12 civilians were killed or wounded but officials could not verify that.

Authorities said the raid that triggered the clashes was part of a police search for suspects in a bank robbery a day earlier in Amyoun, a town southeast of Tripoli. Gunmen made off with $125,000 in cash in the robbery.

The armed militants resisted arrest and a gunbattle ensued. It spread to surrounding streets and continued through the afternoon.

Witnesses said the militants then seized Lebanese army positions at the entrance to the camp, capturing two armored carriers. The gunmen also opened fire on roads leading to the city and ambushed a military unit, killing two soldiers, security officials said.

Smoke billowed from the camp as a steady barrage of artillery and heavy machine gun fire from army positions pounded militant positions inside.

By midmorning, the army had brought reinforcements and was firing on Fatah Islam positions.

Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said the fighting was a "dangerous attempt at hitting Lebanese security" and called on the Lebanese to rally behind the government.

As many other small factions in Lebanon, Fatah Islam's allegiance is sometimes questionable in this deeply polarized country.

The group is allegedly led by Shaker Youssef al-Absi, a Palestinian living in Syria who was sentenced to death in absentia in July 2004 by a Jordanian military court. Al-Absi was found guilty of conspiring to terrorism in a plot that lead to the assassination in Jordan of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley, an act that was blamed on al-Qaida in Iraq.

Major Palestinian factions have dissociated themselves from Fatah Islam.

The dozen Palestinian refugee camps scattered in Lebanon are off limits to authorities, and some are controlled by armed guerrillas. Lebanese troops usually cordon off the camps with checkpoints. Their presence around Nahr el-Bared increased in recent months after Fatah Islam stepped up its actions.
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God bless the army and keep them safe!!!
FINALLY!!! It's about time we take care of this problem...these terror camps should no longer be off limits.

God Bless our Army, RIP
Hizbulla just came out backing the army ... so far all parties are behind the soldiers, so if we're lucky we might see something serious coming out of this
RIP to all the dead soldiers. If these retards won't respect the land they are living on, then they should be eliminated. And yes, god bless the army!
Hizbulla just came out backing the army ... so far all parties are behind the soldiers, so if we're lucky we might see something serious coming out of this
Dont get too excited, its obvious why HA (SHIA) would be against these SUNNI terrorists. They crossed the border from Iraq and Syria to counter HA's influence.
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Let the army take control of these terrorist camps once and for all!!!! history can't repeat itself...
Dont get too excited, its obvious why HA would be against these SUNNI terrorists. They crossed the border from Iraq and Syria to counter HA's influence.
Sad as how their own neighbors treats the Palestineans. No wonder no neighbors can criticize Israel now.
Apparently Palestinians are not making trouble just in Israel... maybe when they have their own state they will kill each other as they're already doing in Gaza and leave the rest alone.
Explosion in Ashrafieh in front of the ABC (for those of u who don't know its a christian neighborhood... its SOOOOO obvious for a few years now that the christian neighborhoods are constantly being targeted to trigger a new war)
Oh jeez... :(
God bless the lives lost today among our soldiers ... and we're not going to stand by and watch as civilian neighborhoods are being attacked!!!
I just heard on the news that many lebanese civilians are going to the camps asking the army to let them in so they can fight too ...
down with the terrorists !!
one women killed near ABC .. many injured
ba3den, how come Ashrafieh isn't protected as the other parts of Beirut?? what is this government doing since the beginning of the terrorist attacks !!!
u mean like downtown???
meet wa7ad minon walla osba3 wa7ad min jeyshna!!

this is OBVIOUSLY another attempt to ruin the tourism season ... to2o mooto nezleen law shou ma 3malto!!
I am soooooo fed up with the lawless situation in Lebanon, i mean why the f*** doesn't the gov't have control over ANYTHING??!! I think they were waiting for something like this to move their asses and do something
eh akid nezleen!!! w badna noshar w noskar... law chou ma 3emlo badna nkaffeh n3ish !!
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