Casualties were mounting and that wounded people were lying in the streets

136.jpgThe Lebanese army has continued to shell the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon as Fatah al-Islam fighters hiding inside vow to fight to the last man.

 

Fouad Siniora, the Lebanese prime minister, said on Saturday that the only option for members of the group was to give up their weapons and surrender.

 

But Abu Salim Taha, Fatah al-Islam spokesman inside the camp, said: “There is no way we will give up our weapons because it is our pride. We cannot even contemplate surrendering.”

 

“Security sources have told us that the Lebanese army has managed to penetrate a few hundred metres into the camp,” Zheina Khodr, Al Jazeera’s correspondent outside the camp near Tripoli, said.

 

Barrages of artillery shells and mortar bombs landed inside the Palestinian refugee camp on Saturday, levelling its two highest buildings and reducing others to smoking ruins.

 

Military helicopters fired two rockets and machinegun barrages at targets on the camp’s coastal side amid the constant thud of explosions.

 

“Since yesterday morning, the shelling has been ongoing all over the camp. Two shells fell on the building I’m in now. Several buildings have collapsed,” a Palestinian resident inside the camp said.

 

“There’s only one clinic with one doctor left. There’s no electricity, bread or medicine.”

 

Jihad Omar, who is working with rescue teams in the centre of the camp, said that casualties were mounting and that wounded people were lying in the streets. He said shelling continued in the centre of the camp where there were no Fatah al-Islam fighters, only civilians.

 

Security sources said six soldiers had been killed in the last two days, bringing the death toll in the two-week conflict to 106, of whom 41 are soldiers.

 

At least 16 people were killed inside the camp on Friday. A delegation of Palestinian clerics has appealed for a truce to transport the wounded to hospitals and bury the dead.

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