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Sporadic Fighting Continues at Refugee Camp in Lebanon


Reports from a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon indicate sporadic fighting continues there, one day after Lebanese authorities declared they had defeated militants in the camp.

Witnesses Friday report hearing gunfire and artillery blasts and seeing smoke rising over the Nahr al-Bared camp near Tripoli.

On Thursday, Lebanese Defense Minister Elias al-Murr said the al-Qaida-inspired Fatah al-Islam militants in the camp had been defeated after a month-long operation.

But he added the army would maintain a siege around the camp until all Fatah al-Islam militants surrender.

A Palestinian mediator says Fatah al-Islam had declared a ceasefire and welcomed Lebanon's announcement that the fighting is over.

Lebanese troops have battled militants at the camp since May 20. More than 140 people have died in the fighting. About half of those killed were soldiers.

Palestinian negotiators met with senior Lebanese officials Wednesday to discuss a possible truce. The government said it wanted a complete surrender of all leaders and key members of the militant group.

Syria closed one of its border crossings into northern Lebanon Wednesday. This is the third border crossing that Syria has closed since the start of the fighting.

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

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