BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) – A bomb concealed in a motorcycle exploded Tuesday near a mosque in a south Lebanon Palestinian refugee camp, killing a militant and lightly wounding four people, Lebanese and Palestinian security officials said.
The attack occurred in the afternoon as militant Ahmad Mustafa Qassem walked near the al-Nour Mosque. He was instantly killed, the officials said. Qassem was a member of the Islamic Struggle Movement, a small group based in the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp on the outskirts of the city of Sidon.
Ein el-Hilweh has in recent weeks seen clashes and assassinations between members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah group and militants from Jund al-Sham, a group that follows the extremist ideology of al-Qaeda.
The Leader of the Islamic Struggle Movement, Sheik Jamal Khattab, told Al-Manar television of the militant Hezbollah group that Qassem was praying at the mosque minutes before he was killed. Khattab, also the imam of the al-Nour mosque, did not say if Qassem was a member of his group.
The Palestinian and Lebanese security officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Ein el-Hilweh, with a population of 70,000, is the largest of Lebanon’s 12 Palestinian refugee camps and is a hotbed of Islamic extremists.