Lebanese Army and Fatah al-Islam resume fighting

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Days after Palestinian refugees fled the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, fighting resumed between the Lebanese Army and the terrorist group, Fatah al-Islam. The fighting, ongoing since Sunday, has so far claimed 69 lives. Elias Murr, the Lebanese defense minister, told Al Arabiyya as quoted:

The army will not negotiate with a group of terrorists and criminals. Their fate is arrest, and if they resist the army, death. There are two choices: The first one, which we prefer, is that they surrender ... the other, which we don't like ... is military action.

Earlier today in Beirut, the Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, addressed the nation over the current battle in Nahr al-Bared; televised at the Grand Serail. Fouad Siniora issued an ultimatum against Fatah al-Islam, saying that Lebanon would not give in to terrorism.

We will put an end to the terrorist phenomenon without hesitation.

Fouad Siniora went on by describing Fatah al Islam as "attempting to ride on the suffering and the struggle of the Palestinian people." He went on to address the Palestinian refugees within the country:

You are our brothers. We share with you the bad times before the good ones.

However, Fatah al-Islam fired back on Fouad Siniora's ultimatum, saying that more bombing would take place unless the Lebanese Army backs down. On Wednesday evening, a bomb exploded in a north-eastern Druze district of Aley. Five people were wounded according to a senior security official.