Lebanese soldiers fired on Palestinian refugees trying to march home to their besieged camp in northern Lebanon on Friday, and at least two people were killed and 20 injured, Palestinian officials said.
Thousands of refugees fled the Nahr el-Bared camp after the army started battling gunmen there May 20, and most took shelter in the Beddawi camp three miles away. But now displaced refugees are demanding to be allowed home.
On Friday, some 2,000 refugees staged a protest at the Beddawi camp, and some then tried to march to Nahr el-Bared, the AP reported. When they reached an army checkpoint outside Nahr el-Bared, the military told them to disperse and return to Beddawi. As the refugees marched, the soldiers opened fire, first in the air and then into the crowd.
At least two protesters were killed and 20 others were hurt, some by gunfire and others in the stampede that followed, the officials said. Protests over the fighting at Nahr el-Bared also were held Friday in Palestinian refugee camps in south Lebanon and in Beirut, but no violence was reported at those rallies.