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23 May, 2007 10:25

Civilians flee Lebanese refugee camp

Civilians flee Lebanese refugee camp

Thousands of Palestinian civilians have fled a refugee camp in northern Lebanon, during a lull in fighting. Still, there has been no formal ceasefire between the Lebanese army and a radical group of Islamist militants holed up in the camp.

While some of the civilians, trapped amid the shelling of the Nahr al Bared camp, managed to escape, others were shot at as they left, aid agencies have reported.

Meanwhile, more than 150 members of the militant group, Fatah al Islam are hiding out within the camp.

The Lebanese authorities are determined to deal with a faction who they regard as terrorists. The request for almost $US 300 MLN of aid from the United States -specifically to tackle the militants – underlines this determination.

Other Arab countries have voiced their desire to see the violence end soon and are also promising their support.

“We will continue to see how to help Lebanon – and it depends on the developments. We hope that a ceasefire, a kind of understanding that would keep both, or all sides, away from shooting at each other, would be very much in order,” stated Amr Moussa, the Arab League Secretary-General.