Monday, May 21, 2007

I thought shelling a refugee camp was a war crime

I guess its OK, as long as you're a Muslim too
Reuters - Lebanese tanks shelled Islamist militants in a Palestinian refugee camp on Monday and at least nine civilians were killed, raising the death toll in two days of fighting to 66, security sources said.

Tanks battered the coastal camp of Nahr al-Bared in north Lebanon, home to some 40,000 refugees, as fighters of the al Qaeda-inspired Fatah al-Islam group fired grenades and machineguns at army posts on the perimeter, witnesses said.

The Sunni Muslim faction, which emerged late last year, has only a few hundred fighters and scant political support in Lebanon, but appears to be well-armed, organized and motivated.

Palestinian sources in the camp said the bombardment had killed nine civilians and wounded 20. They feared the toll would rise because rescue workers were hampered by the fighting.

Soldiers cut off all access to the camp amid heavy fighting, although nine wounded civilians were evacuated. Plumes of smoke rose from small buildings inside and at least one was ablaze. Streets in the camp and nearby areas were empty.

Sunday's battles at Nahr al-Bared and in the nearby city of Tripoli killed 27 soldiers, 15 militants and 15 civilians -- Lebanon's worst internal fighting since the 1975-1990 civil war.

The violence showed how fragile security remains in Lebanon, racked by political and sectarian tensions since last year's Israeli-Hezbollah war in the south and by a series of unsolved assassinations before and after Syria's 2005 troop pullout.

The cabinet, itself embroiled in a long-running political crisis, was to discuss the fighting later on Monday.

Video Courtesy Lebanese Ministry of Tourism