Five troops killed in north Lebanon
Lebanon's army intensified its assault on militants hiding inside a Palestinian refugee settlement on Saturday, launching artillery barrages and sending in armored carriers and special forces.
Witnesses in the Nahr el-Bared camp reported some of the heaviest army shelling since June 1. According to the AP, security sources said five troops died Saturday and 15 were hurt, some seriously.
Local and Arab television stations billed it as a major army assault on Fatah Islam men inside the camp, but a senior Fatah Islam commander denied the reports and said fighters were holding their ground against the army. "We are on the front lines across from them," Abu Hureira, Fatah Islam's deputy commander, told The Associated Press by telephone from inside the camp.
Abu Hureira, whose real name is Shehab al-Qaddour, dismissed as "rumors" media reports that he and Fatah Islam leader Shaker Youssef al-Absi, were wounded. He said some fighters were "lightly" injured "but it's nothing compared to them," he said, referring to Lebanese army casualties.