Sporadic gunfire erupted Thursday on the edges of the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp where Islamic militants are holed up after refusing an ultimatum by Lebanon's defense minister to surrender or face a military onslaught.
Fighters from the al-Qaida-inspired Fatah Islam militant group barricaded in the Palestinian refugee camp vowed not to give up and to fight any Lebanese assault.
The army had set up checkpoints around the camp, searching the trickle of residents who were leaving on foot or on pickup trucks Thursday and preventing journalists from entering the camp.
Lebanon's government appeared to be preparing in case the showdown sparks violence elsewhere in the country.
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