Lebanese helicopters step up raids in Nahr el-Bared

Lebanese army helicopters stepped up raids on al-Qaida-inspired Islamic militants barricaded in a Palestinian refugee camp in the country's north after five soldiers were killed, a senior military official said. A soldier died overnight Thursday and four other soldiers died in renewed fighting with Fatah Islam gunmen in the past two days in the besieged Nahr el-Bared camp, the official said Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity according to army regulations. The deaths raised to 153 the number of soldiers killed since fighting began May 20, he said. "The army is making a noticeable progress in its push against the gunmen, capturing new areas in the camp," the official said.