Lebanon: Fatah Islam looking for truce as another soldier dies
Islamists who have fought the Lebanese army at a Palestinian refugee camp since May 20 are seeking a truce to let their families and other civilians flee, an intermediary said on Tuesday.
A spokesman for the Fatah al-Islam group, Abu Salim Taha, called the Palestinian Clerics' Association late on Monday to ask for help in arranging a truce in the fighting at Nahr al-Bared camp in north Lebanon, an association member said.
Lebanese and Palestinians sources have estimated that between 40 and 80 civilians, mostly the wives and children of the militants, remain in the camp.
"We have always called on the militants to allow the women and children to flee. And now we have no objection to those civilians leaving the camp," an army source was quoted as saying by Reuters. Sheikh Mohammed al-Haj of the Palestinian Clerics' Association told the news agency the group had given Fatah al-Islam the army's response and were now waiting for the militants to come back with "numbers of civilians fleeing and the time period."
Meanwhile, another Lebanese soldier died in Nahr al-Bared on Tuesday, bringing the army's overall death toll to 141 since the conflict started exactly three months ago, security sources said. At least 100 militants and 41 civilians have also been killed.