Heavy fighting at Lebanese camp

146.jpgLebanese troops have fought new battles with Islamist militants around a Palestinian refugee camp in the north of the country, reports say. Militants fired mortars from the Nahr al-Bared camp, the official Lebanese news agency said.

The army was reported to have responded with artillery fire.

Militants from the Fatah al-Islam group have been besieged in the camp for seven weeks, during which time more than 200 people have been killed.

The violence has been Lebanon’s worst internal conflict since the end of the civil war in 1990.

Much of Nahr al-Bared has been destroyed during the fighting, in which the army has bombarded the camp in an effort to flush out the militants within.

Virtually all of the residents of the camp, which was previously home to some 30,000 people, have fled their homes.

Last month the government claimed victory over Fatah al-Islam, a radical Palestinian splinter group with an ideological link to al-Qaeda.

But clashes have broken out sporadically since then, with an unknown number of militants remaining in the camps.

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