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Lebanese Defense Minister Says Fighting at Refugee Camp Over

Lebanon's defense minister says the operation against Islamic militants in a Palestinian refugee camp is over.

Elias al-Murr told Lebanese television late Thursday that the military has destroyed all of the militant positions in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp near the northern city of Tripoli.

However, hours before he spoke, fighting continued in the camp, and there was no independent confirmation of the defense minister's claim.

Lebanese troops have been fighting the al-Qaida-inspired militants of Fatah al-Islam for more than a month. More than 140 people have died since the fighting began on May 20.

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

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

In other news, France has delayed an informal meeting of Lebanese leaders aimed at ending Lebanon's political crisis. A foreign ministry spokesman said the meeting, which was scheduled for late June in Paris, has been pushed back until mid-July.

Lebanon has been deadlocked since last November when several pro-Syrian cabinet ministers resigned after Prime Minister Fuad Siniora refused to give the opposition veto power.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.