North Lebanon: Two soldiers killed in ongoing camp clashes
Two Lebanese troops died in fighting with Islamists who have been battling the army in north Lebanon for more than three months, a security source said on Thursday. The soldiers died of wounds sustained on Wednesday at the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp where the army is trying to crush the al Qaeda-inspired Fatah al-Islam group.
According to Reuters, the army has now lost 143 troops in the fighting.
Fatah al-Islam had asked mediators earlier this week to seek a truce to allow the evacuation of family members holed up with them inside the camp. The army agreed to the request on Tuesday. But the Palestinian Clerics' Association, which is acting as an intermediary, said communication problems had complicated efforts to organize the evacuation.
The fighting continued on Thursday. Helicopters bombed positions at least four times, witnesses said.