Explosives seized near Palestinian refugee camp

Authorities have confiscated 31 sets of highly sophisticated explosive devices near a Palestinian refugee camp in south Lebanon, police said Tuesday. In a statement, police said a squad of its intelligence branch carried out the raid in an area near the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp during which the devices, which include electrochemical detonators, were taken. The detonating devices were highly advanced and could be timed to explode after a period of up to 124 days, police said. The statement did not say when the raid was carried out but said police had been working on information that a terrorist organization in the Ein el-Hilweh camp near the southern port city of Sidon was planning to smuggle sophisticated explosive material outside the camp to be used in terrorist attacks. The raid was carried out after "intense surveillance" of the area, the statement said. Ein el-Hilweh is the largest of Lebanon's 12 Palestinian refugee camps and is renowned for its lawlessness. A number of fugitives are known to reside inside the camp, which is off limits to Lebanese authorities.