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Gunfire Breaks Lebanon Lull;

Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit

al Jazeera - may 27, 2007

Gunfire breaks Lebanon lull

Sporadic gunfire has erupted in the refugee camp in northern Lebanon,
despite a truce between government forces and Palestinian fighters.

Alan Fisher, Al Jazeera's correspondent reporting from Tripoli, said
that shots had been ringing out in the darkness amid unconfirmed
reports of the Nahr al-Bared camp being shelled again by Lebanese

The Lebanese army did not confirm whether tank shells had been fired,
maintaining it was something they were not willing to discuss in public.

The United Nations estimates that some 15,000 Palestinian are still
stranded inside the battle-ravaged camp.

At least 78 people were killed in the fighting in Nahr al-Bared which
lasted a week.


Lebanon has meanwhile given Palestinian factions until the middle of
the week to negotiate an end to fighting between the army and fighters
of the Fatah al-Islam, the AFP news agency said.

Blast in Beirut

Grenade attack injures five

"The authorities have given Palestinian organisations until the middle
of the week" to try to negotiate a settlement in northern Lebanon, a
source told AFP on Sunday.

The Lebanese army has besieged Fatah al-Islam, an al-Qaeda-linked group
made up of fighters from across the region, since Saturday.

The negotiations involve the surrender of fighters from the group, the
source said.

Walid Jumblatt, a leader of the ruling majority, said on Sunday:
"Nobody has talked about a military solution, but we want the criminals
to give themselves up." Many civilians have fled from the Nahr al-Bared
camp near Tripoli as a result of the fighting, while the US has flown
further military aid into Beirut for use by the Lebanese army.

The ammunition supplies arrived a day after the leader of the Shia
opposition group Hezbollah said Lebanon risked fighting a war "on
behalf of the Americans".

Fatah al-Islam tape

Earlier on Saturday, Al Jazeera aired a tape featuring a speech by
Fatah al-Islam's leader.

Shaker al-Abssi said: "We wish to die. We wish to die for the sake of
God. If the leader is sitting at the forefront, he will set an example
for his followers."

He said Fatah al-Islam would fight "the Jews, the Americans and their
loyalists", an apparent reference to Lebanon's government.

On Friday, Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of Hezbollah, said in a
televised speech that the country risked getting dragged into America's
war against al-Qaeda.

He said: "The problem in the north can be solved politically and
through the judiciary."
Nasrallah said accepting US help would draw more fighters into the
country and potentially destabilise it.

Exile in Lebanon

Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna talks to Palestinian refugees about their
relationship with Lebanon

Fuad Siniora, Lebanon's prime minister, has defended the import of
military supplies from the US, saying the supplies had been offered by
several countries months ago. The US-supplied aid is a sensitive issue
in Lebanon, where opposition leaders accuse the government of working
to Washington's agenda. Palestinian factions have been seeking a
negotiated solution to end the siege and avert a battle between the
Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam.

'There is optimism'

Osama Hamdan, Hamas's representative in Lebanon, said that "as long as
we agree on the necessity of a solution and we speak with a language of
solution, then there is optimism". Elias Murr, Lebanon's defence
minister, said on Friday he was "leaving room for political
negotiations", which he said must lead to the surrender of the Fatah
al-Islam fighters. He said: "If the political negotiations fail, I
leave it to the military command to do what is necessary." The UN has
called for the protection of thousands of civilians trapped by the
Lebanese army's siege of the camp. About half of Nahr el-Bared's 31,000
residents fled the camp during an earlier truce, seeking shelter in the
nearby Beddawi camp.


al Jazeera - May 27, 2007

Grenade attack at Beirut crossroads

A hand grenade has been thrown at a unit of security forces at a major
Beirut crossroads, injuring two policemen, an army soldier and two
civilians. The grenade was thrown off a bridge at the Barbir crossroads
late on Sunday and fell near a checkpoint in a Sunni Muslim area.
Two policemen, a soldier stationed there and two civilians passing by
the area were slightly injured, police said.

The assailants, believed to be riding on a motorbike or in a car, fled
the scene.

At least one vehicle was damaged and police were said to be in pursuit
of the attackers.

The Beirut area has seen three big explosions in the last week, killing
a woman and injuring nearly 30 people.

The violence came as Lebanese troops were fighting Islamic fighters at
the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared in northern Lebanon.

Scores of people have been killed in the week-old fighting.

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