Beirut: At least seven people were killed and 24 others injured after violent armed clashes broke out in Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp, state media reported on Thursday.
The Ain Al-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp near the southern city of Sidon witnessed the violent clashes on Wednesday afternoon in which machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades were used, Xinhua news agency quoted the state media as saying.
It added that flare bombs were used for the first time within the refugee camp.
The armed clashes prompted significant displacement in Sidon and its surrounding areas, as well as the southern Sidon highway and several neighbourhoods near the camp were also struck by stray bullets.
According to the state media, the violence on Wednesday erupted just a few hours after the Palestinian factions in the refugee camp agreed to a ceasefire during their meeting with Prime Minister Najib Mikati earlier in the day.
In the meeting, the Palestinian factions agreed to “work to facilitate the return of those forced from their homes and vacate schools as soon as possible”.
In the new wave of violence in the camp since September 7, 20 have been killed and 140 injured so far, according to local media.
Clashes between rival groups often occur in the Ain Al-Helweh camp.
Between July 29 and August 3, clashes between members of the Palestinian Fatah movement and Islamic activists in the camp killed at least 13 people and injured dozens of others.