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CLASHES

Death toll rises to four in armed clash at Burj al-Shemali Palestinian refugee camp

Mourners, including fighters, take part in a funeral procession for Hamza Ibrahim Shaheen, a member of the Hamas movement in the Burj al-Shamali camp. (Credit: Mahmoud Zayyay/AFP)

BEIRUT — Four members of Hamas died Sunday when shooting erupted at the funeral procession of a member of the Islamist movement in a Palestinian refugee camp in south Lebanon, L'Orient Today's correspondent in the area reported, citing Hamas sources.

Earlier Sunday evening, Hamas official Raafat al-Murra said militants from the rival Fatah movement "shot at the funeral procession" of a Palestinian killed Friday in a blast in the Burj al-Shemali camp, outside the port city of Sour, AFP reported. A camp resident told AFP armed clashes followed the shooting.

Six people were wounded, he said, adding that elements of both Fatah and Hamas had been deployed.

An electrical short circuit in a store containing oxygen supplies for COVID-19 patients caused Friday's blast, Hamas had said, denying media reports that an arms depot blew up.

The explosion blackened the walls and shattered windows of a nearby mosque.

"The fire caused damage to property but the impact was limited," Hamas said, without detailing casualties.

According to a Palestinian official, one man died of his injuries from Friday night's explosion, which also left a few people wounded.

Officially, Lebanon hosts about 192,000 Palestinian refugees, most of whom live in the country's 12 camps, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

By longstanding agreement, the Lebanese army does not enter the camps, leaving security inside to Palestinian factions.

Hamas and Fatah, the secular party led by Mahmoud Abbas, have been at odds since 2007 when the Islamists seized Gaza after a week of deadly clashes.

Though based in Gaza, Hamas operates branches elsewhere in the Middle East including Lebanon.


BEIRUT — Four members of Hamas died Sunday when shooting erupted at the funeral procession of a member of the Islamist movement in a Palestinian refugee camp in south Lebanon, L'Orient Today's correspondent in the area reported, citing Hamas sources.Earlier Sunday evening, Hamas official Raafat al-Murra said militants from the rival Fatah movement "shot at the funeral...