Lebanon army bombs camp as PM says gunmen must surrender
White smoke rose from a Palestinian refugee camp Sunday as the Lebanese army resumed its bombardment of Islamist gunmen holed up there, the third day of a military offensive aimed at crushing the al-Qaeda-inspired fighters.
Sunday's artillery fire was directed at Fatah Islam positions deep inside the Nahr el-Bared camp, indicating that troops were advancing further inside.
As part of the intensifying assault, the army on Saturday added air power to the battle. A helicopter gunship was deployed for the first time since fighting began May 20, launching two missiles towards Fatah Islam positions.
According to the AP, four troops were killed and 10 injured Saturday in the offensive aimed at uprooting the gunmen barricaded inside the camp. The casualties raised the army's deaths to 38 in two weeks.
The Lebanese government has demanded that the gunmen surrender, saying it's the only way to stop the assault. They "have no choice but to surrender," Lebanon's Prime Minister Fuad Saniora told Al-Arabiya television, adding that the government would "assure this group justice and a fair trial." He said about 250 Fatah Islam members were still in the camp.
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