Lebanese army arrests Palestinian suspect near Ain el-Hilweh

Published August 1st, 2016 - 02:00 GMT
Lebanese authorities fear Daesh could establish a presence in the Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp. (AFP/File)
Lebanese authorities fear Daesh could establish a presence in the Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp. (AFP/File)

A Palestinian suspect was arrested by the Lebanese army on Sunday near the Ain el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Sidon, state-run National News Agency reported.

“Army intelligence agents arrested near the Ain el-Hilweh camp the Palestinian Bilal Mahmoud Bader, who is accused of fighting against the Lebanese army and belonging to terrorist groups,” NNA said.

MTV meanwhile clarified that the arrested man is not the notorious Ain el-Hilweh militant Bilal Darrar Bader, who is accused of masterminding several assassinations and attacks in the camp.

Several Islamist militants linked to detained cleric Ahmed al-Asir have turned themselves in to the army in recent days at the Ain el-Hilweh camp.

There have been concerns in the country that Daesh and al-Nusra Front could be seeking to boost their presence in Ain el-Hilweh or even seize entire areas of the camp, which prompted Lebanese security forces and the Palestinian factions to up their measures and coordination.

By long-standing convention, the army does not enter the twelve Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, leaving the Palestinian factions themselves to handle security.

But the camp is also home to more than 54,000 registered Palestinian refugees who have been joined in recent years by thousands of Palestinians fleeing the fighting in Syria.

More than 450,000 Palestinians are registered in Lebanon with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA. Most live in squalid conditions in 12 official refugee camps and face a variety of legal restrictions, including on their employment.


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