TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AP) - Lebanese troops pounded a Palestinian refugee camp with artillery and tank fire for a second day Monday, raising huge columns of smoke as they battled a militant group suspected of ties to al-Qaida in the worst violence since the end of the 1975-90 civil war.That's why the al Qaeda was able to operate there!
Nearly 50 combatants were killed in the first day of fighting Sunday, but it was not known how many civilians have been killed inside the Nahr el-Bared camp on the outskirts of the northern port city of Tripoli.
The battle was an unprecedented showdown between the Lebanese army and militant groups that have arisen in Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps, which are home to tens of thousands of people living amid poverty and crime and which Lebanese troops are not allowed to enter.
The troops were fighting a group called Fatah Islam, whose leader has said he is inspired by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and was training militants for attacks in other countries. Lebanese officials have also accused Syria of using Fatah Islam to stir up trouble in Lebanon, a charge Damascus has denied.They can deny all they want, but I wouldn't be surprised if Syria was behind any funding for this gang.