Via Jihad Watch, Islamic militants, security forces battle in Lebanon. The AP calls them Islamic militants, the NYT calls them Islamists, and people are dying:
Eight civilians were killed by shelling today, according to Reuters, adding to the 22 Lebanese soldiers and 17 militants killed in the fierce fighting on Sunday.
Witnesses said that militants belonging to Fatah al-Islam fired rocket-propelled grenades as well as machine guns today at army posts on the camp perimeter, according to Reuters.
The continuing violence is one of the most significant challenges to the Lebanese army since the end of Lebanon’s bloody civil war.
Many of the complex crosscurrents of Lebanon’s politics have been visible in the crisis. The camp in Tripoli has been off limits to the Lebanese army under an agreement with the Palestinian leadership and Arab countries. On Sunday, Lebanese citizens, who hold the Palestinians responsible for sparking the civil war in 1975, cheered the army on the streets of Tripoli and outside the camp.
Syria, which Lebanon accuses of backing Fatah al-Islam, closed several border crossings in the area. And the fighting broke out as the United Nations Security Council took up a resolution to try suspects tied to the February 2005 assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri. Syria has been accused in previous investigations of ordering the killing, but vigorously denies any connection.
Fatah al-Islam has been a growing concern for security authorities in Lebanon and much of the region. Intelligence officials say that the group counts between 150 and 200 fighters in its ranks and that it subscribes to the fundamentalist precepts of Al Qaeda.
The group’s leader, Shakir al-Abssi, is a fugitive Palestinian and former associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia who was killed last year in Iraq. Both men were sentenced to death in absentia for the 2002 murder of an American diplomat, Lawrence Foley, in Jordan.
I haven’t figured out why the BBC’s using scare quotes, Lebanon clashes ‘kill civilians’ but the death toll is significantly higher than the AP report shows. Update: The WaPo states that 50 combatants were killed in the first day of fighting Sunday
Here are some Facts and figures on Palestinian refugees in Lebanon
Gateway Pundit posts that
One of the men killed in Sunday’s fighting, Saddam El-Hajdib, was a suspect in a failed German train bombing a sign that Nahr al-Bared refugee camp had become a refuge for militants planning attacks outside of Lebanon.
A spokesman for the Lebanese government was interviewed by the BBCA newscast and blamed Syria for the bombing. Certainly the Lebanese media’s clear about it: Lebanon media see Syria behind violence.
The Lebanese citizen says, “justice is a principle above all. Security on the other hand has its own logic; you kill this guy, you spare that guy…”
Yeah, but you don’t understand, as Assad’s court scribe Patrick Seale put it, “Syria cannot tolerate a hostile government in Lebanon”! So it must kill all politicians that it doesn’t like! But hey, “it doesn’t mean the end!”
Will Nancy don her scarf again and go ask her buddy to stop?
In other words, Hizbullah is siding against the Lebanese government and army by not even acknowledging Fatah al-Islam, or its sponsor, and blaming it on a US-Israeli conspiracy.
I’m sure Nancy can’t wait to sink her teeth on that, too.
Meanwhile, you wouldn’t know that Israel is under attack by reading the headlines.
Update Captain Ed asks,
And where is the UN in all of this? It’s their refugee camp which has fostered these groups and allowed them to operate openly. Shouldn’t the UN be disarming people in refugee camps? Or have they abandoned that mandate, as they have abandoned others?