At Least Four Killed in Three Days of Clashes in Palestinian Refugee Camp in Lebanon

Meanwhile, the government hospital at a neighboring port city is struck by a rocket

A Palestinian gunman during clashes between Fatah and Islamic groups in the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon.
Mohammed Zaatari/AP

Security forces clashed with Islamic extremists for the third consecutive day in a Palestinian camp in Lebanon.

A member of the Palestinian Fatah faction was killed Sunday in the Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, a Fatah official said, bringing the total death toll to four.

Dozens more have also been injured in the latest round of fighting whereby Fatah and other Palestinian groups are pitched against hard-line Sunni Islamists known as the Badr group. 

Fatah is led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. 

Clashes have erupted intermittently in recent months in Ain al-Hilweh. The latest round began on Friday when a joint security force grouping the main Palestinian factions met resistance from Badr fighters as it tried to deploy in the camp.

Mortar bombs have been fired in the most recent clashes, some of the most ferocious between the sides to date.

Lebanon's Palestinian camps mainly fall outside the jurisdiction of the Lebanese security services. There are some 450,000 Palestinian refugees living in 12 refugee camps in Lebanon. 

The government hospital in the port city of Sidon was struck by a rocket, and Lebanese authorities have closed the main highway connecting the city to southern Lebanon.

On Saturday, local Palestinian commander Subhi Abu Arab vowed to crush the followers of radical preacher Bilal Badr.

The UN says some 55,000 people live in Ein el-Hilweh, the largest Palestinian camp in Lebanon.