NAHR AL-BARED, Lebanon (AFP) – Lebanese troops and Islamist militants holed up in a refugee camp in northern Lebanon engaged in a short but violent firefight early Monday, an AFP correspondent witnessed.
An exchange of gunfire rattled the Nahr al-Bared camp before troops deployed around the coastal shantytown fired four shells toward the northern entrance where the Islamists are holed up.
Smoke was seen billowing from the area, which later returned to calm.
According to UN estimates, between 3,000 and 8,000 of the 31,000 Palestinian refugees officially registered at Nahr al-Bared are still inside the camp eight days after the clashes began.
The army has been keeping Nahr al-Bared under siege since the shadowy extremist group Fatah al-Islam attacked army targets on May 20, sparking armed clashes in the camp and the nearby city of Tripoli in which 78 people were killed.