UN agency condemns violence in Ain al-Hilweh

A UN agency issued a statement Tuesday (February 28th) that strongly condemns the ongoing armed violence that erupted in Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp near the Lebanese city of Sidon last Thursday.

Fierce clashes erupted between the secular Fatah Movement and a number of hardline Islamist groups in the camp, which Lebanese outlet al-Tayyar reports are linked to the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) in al-Raqa, Syria.

Lebanon boosted security at the camp last year to prevent ISIL infiltration, which began to bear fruit with the September 22nd arrest of so-called ISIL 'emir' Imad Yassine .

Recurrent armed violence continues to impact the civilian population in the camp, including children, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said.

There are reports of injuries to civilians and damage to shelters as a result of the clashes. An UNRWA installation is reported as sustaining minor damage and the unauthorized entry of armed actors into one UNRWA school was reported.

Due to the violent clashes, all UNRWA services were suspended on Monday and Tuesday. On Friday, two UNRWA facilities for health and relief services were also closed due to clashes.

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