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Lebanese Army Continues Pressure on Militants in Refugee Camp


Lebanese authorities say a soldier was killed Thursday in fighting with Fatah al-Islam militants holed up inside a Palestinian refugee camp near Tripoli.

More than 100 people, including soldiers, militants and civilians have been killed since the fighting erupted at the Nahr al-Bared camp almost three weeks ago.

The militants have repeatedly refused government demands to surrender and vowed to fight to the death.

An explosion in a factory late Thursday caused a large fire in a Christian area north of Beirut. No information on casualties or the cause of the blast was immediately available.

Earlier Thursday, authorities found three vehicles rigged with explosives in the town of Bar Elias, in the Bekaa Valley.

Since the fighting started, Beirut has been hit by several bombings that killed one person.

On Wednesday, authorities charged several more members of the militant group with "acts of terrorism," bringing to nearly 30 the number of people charged since the fighting erupted.

Also on Wednesday, a lull in major combat at the Nahr al-Bared camp gave aid agencies the opportunity to evacuate more of the approximately 3,000 residents who remain there despite the fighting.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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