Two killed in Lebanon refugee camp

Fatah officer's bodyguards gunned down; Jund al-Sham militants suspected.

Ein el-Hilweh 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Ein el-Hilweh 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Two Fatah operatives were killed Monday by suspected Islamic militants in the notoriously lawless Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh in southern Lebanon, Lebanese and Palestinian security officials reported. The two were bodyguards of an officer from the Fatah movement headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. They were ambushed when they arrived to pick up motorcycles they had left to be repaired, the officials said. One was instantly killed, while the other was seriously wounded and later died in hospital. The officer they worked for was not with them, according to the officials who spoke on customary condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The motive for the shooting was not immediately clear. The officials suspected the attackers belonged to Jund al-Sham, an Islamic militant group based in the refugee camp, which is located in Sidon, the provincial capital of southern Lebanon. Gunmen from both sides took up positions after news of the attack spread, and sporadic gunfire erupted. Ein el-Hilweh is the largest of Lebanon's 12 Palestinian refugee camps and is the scene of frequent gunfights between armed groups jockeying for power. A number of fugitives live in the camp, which is under Palestinian jurisdiction and off limits to Lebanese authorities.