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Lebanon: Bystander killed in Ain al-Helweh clashes



One person was killed and several others wounded overnight Tuesday during clashes in southern Lebanonís Ain al-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp, according to an Al-Akhbar correspondent.

Gun fights broke out between members of the secular Fatah party and supporters of Bilal Badr, an influential Islamist figure, after an attempt on his life Monday night in the overcrowded camp.

Islamists based in the Ain al-Helweh attempted to seize the Fatah-controlled area of the camp, resulting in armed battles between the two factions overnight and Tuesday morning.

The main office of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in the camp was hit with two rockets during the violent brawl, wounding five of its members, the correspondent said.

Fighting ceased around 10:00am Tuesday as residents of the camp called for a truce.

Badr was rushed to al-Aqsa hospital in the camp Monday night after being shot five times by Abed al-Saidi, a member of Fatah.

Badrís brother and three of the campís residents were wounded during the assassination attempt. Khaled al-Masri, a bystander, died at a hospital from his wounds.

The Islamist leader is one of the faces of a new generation of radical Islamic groups emerging in Lebanon.

He currently leads dozens of young men trained militarily and grouped under the doctrine of Jund al-Sham and Fatah al-Islam, both radical Salafi groups.

There are a handful of other radical Islamist groups inside the camp, home to over 70,000 people crowded within a roughly 1.5 square kilometer area.

Ain al-Helweh has witnessed waves of deadly clashes over the past year between rival factions divided over the Syrian conflict.

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