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by Jordan Times/AFP
Wednesday, May. 21, 2003 at 3:04 PM
Six Fateh militiamen were killed during firefights with assault rifles and anti-tank weapons Monday between Arafat's partisans and those of the Osbat Al Nour group
Eight killed, 25 wounded in Lebanon refugee camp battle
Jordan Times/AFP, May 20, 2003
AIN AL HILWEH (AFP) — Eight people, including six members of President Yasser Arafat's Fateh movement were killed and 25 others wounded as the secular faction clashed Monday with a Muslim fundamentalist group in this south Lebanon Palestinian refugee camp, medical sources said.
The six Fateh militiamen were killed during firefights with assault rifles and anti-tank weapons Monday between Arafat's partisans and those of the Osbat Al Nour group seeking to revenge the near-fatal Fateh shooting on Saturday of their leader, Abdullah Shraidi.
A member of Osbat Al Nour and a civilian were also killed in the fighting, which subsided later in the day following calls by leaders in the camp, home to around 65,000 people.
Twenty-five people were wounded, most of them civilians, the medical sources said.
Schools in the Ain Al Hilweh camp were shut and most stores kept their shutters down at the height of the fighting, which provoked an exodus by hundreds of camp residents.
Women and children were among the wounded, the medical sources said.
"The fighting broke out around noon when roughly 200 fundamentalist fighters holed up in three strongholds opened fire with all kinds of weapons on Fateh offices," a senior Palestinian official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"Shaken up by the Fateh attempt on Shraidi's life, the fundamentalists regrouped and counterattacked to show Arafat's partisans they would not go quietly but resist attempts to chase them out of Ain Al Hilweh," added the official, who belongs to neither faction.
AFP photographer Mahmoud Zayyat was shot in the foot at the northern entrance to the refugee camp, the largest in Lebanon.
CAPTION: A Lebanese Red Cross worker evacuates an unidentified women from inside the Ain Al Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp near the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon on Monday (AP photo)
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