Lebanon: Truce deal in biggest Palestinian refugee camp
Calm returned to Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp on Saturday after a ceasefire between armed Islamists and fighters of Fatah faction ended heavy clashes. The hundreds of civilians who had fled the fighting in the densely populated Ain al-Helweh camp outside the southern port city of Sidon started returning to their homes after the truce took hold, AFP reported.
Fatah fighters exchanged rocket fire with gunmen from "Jund al-Sham" for some four hours in the camp's main street late on Friday prompting the exodus of civilians. "There is a ceasefire ... the regrettable clashes that took place have ended" following mediation by another Islamist group, Usbat al-Ansar (Band of Supporters), Fatah official Munir al-Maqdah told AFP.
According to him, the Jund al-Sham fighters had agreed to leave the camp and Fatah security men would take control. "There won't be a second Nahr al-Bared at Ain al-Helweh," said Makdah. A Lebanese army spokesman had said the fighting had been confined to the camp and that troops had not got involved.