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Since last night, intense gunfire has erupted in the Palestinian refugee “camp” of Ein al-Khilwa near Sidon. Clashes broke out after Fatah militants attempted to assassinate Abu Qatada, a senior member of the Salafi (Islamist) “Asabat al-Ansar”. The failed assassination attempt was driven by the desire for revenge following the killing of a child from a Fatah family about six months ago, perpetrated by the same Salafi organization. Four people, including children, were injured during the failed attempt.


In retaliation, the Islamists responded forcefully this morning, killing “Brigadier General” Abu Ashraf al-Armushi, the commander of Fatah’s national security forces in the camp, along with several of his companions.

After suffering this severe blow, Fatah decided to retaliate. More confrontations are expected in the coming days.

Throughout the night and into the morning, the exchange of fire at the Palestinian refugee “camp” in Sidon, Ein al-Hilweh, has not stopped. On one side, there is the self-organized Salafi group, and on the other, Fatah militants.

Efforts to cease the fire have failed, mainly because Fatah still seeks to avenge the death of its senior commander, who was killed yesterday along with four of his companions.

So far, there have been nine fatalities and over 40 injuries since the clashes erupted.

Reports indicate that residents are fleeing the “camp”. 40 houses were completely destroyed as a result of the gunfire, which included RPG and missile fire.

The Lebanese army closed the nearby highway after vehicles were hit by gunfire from within the “camp”.

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