Palestinian factions vow to break up Badr group in Lebanon

Smoke rises during clashes in Ein al Hilweh camp Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp near the southern coastal city of Sidon

Tensions have been high in Sidon since last Friday, when Badr group opened fire on the Joint Security Force fighters as they were deploying in Al-Tireh neighborhood, as a part of an agreement following an earlier battle which lasted for days in the refugee camp last February.

Medical sources told AFP that the clashes killed two people and wounded 21, with at least one member of the security force among the dead.

Traces of violence spilled beyond the camp's boundaries, and Lebanon's authorities closed the highway connecting the city to southern Lebanon. Sidon's government hospital was struck by a rocket.

The clashes, which reportedly involve the use of machine guns and mortars, have pitted forces loyal to the Palestinian Fatah movement against the "Bilal Badr group", a Salafist faction whose critics accuse it of pursuing a "foreign agenda".

Inside the camp, Palestinian charitable groups distributed bread and water to residents most affected by the fighting after the clashes damaged water tanks supplying several neighbourhoods.


Ambulances are rushing the wounded to hospitals near the Ein el-Hilweh camp as the sounds of rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire echo from inside.

Information received by Asharq Al-Awat from inside the camp said that Bilal Badr is now in the protection of the terrorist Fatah al-Islam leader Osama al-Shehabi.

The camp founded in 1948 is the largest of the 12 Palestinian camps in Lebanon and is home to more than 54,116 registered refugees according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

"Only Israel benefits from the ongoing sedition. and on top of the events is Ain al-Hilweh clashes", Berri said.

Ain al-Hilweh is home to multiple armed factions, and has been plagued by intermittent clashes between them as well as against smaller extremist groups.

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