Lebanese army bombards militants in refugee camp

The Lebanese army continued its bombardment Thursday of al-Qaida-inspired militants entrenched in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon, pounding their remaining positions with tank and artillery fire, said a senior military official. Thursday's shelling, which was intense in the morning before subsiding in the afternoon, sent plumes of black smoke billowing into the air, witnesses said. Lebanese troops made advances Thursday against the militants holed up in Nahr el-Bared, capturing nine buildings and a number of hideouts used to fire on the army, the state-run National News Agency reported. The captured positions were reportedly located in the "old camp," densely populated neighborhoods where most of the remaining fighters are thought to be barricaded. The news agency said a number of Fatah Islam militants were killed in house-to-house battles, but the report could not be independently confirmed.