Violence inside Lebanon’s largest Palestinian refugee camp erupted Saturday resulting in the death of three Palestinian civilians and the injury of 18. The violence began after the attempted assassination of the camp security chief Ashraf al-Armoushi, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported.
The attempt on Armoushi’s life took place as he attended the funeral of a fellow senior official of Fatah, the secular Palestinian political party. The gunmen reportedly were from the Jund al-Sham militia group, a Sunni Islamic terror group with ties to al Qaeda.
— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) August 22, 2015
The Lebanese TV station al-Manar reported Armoushi was not injured in the attack but one of his bodyguards was killed and three others injured. The station also noted tensions inside the camp were high. Last month another senior Fatah official was killed in a drive-by shooting.
The refugee camps, which are off-limits to the Lebanese army under an agreement signed in the aftermath of the 1975-90 civil war, are a breeding ground for extremism due to high levels of poverty.
The attacks inside the camp come as security officials and protestors clashed on the streets of Beirut over the so-called “garbage crisis” that has caused a political and social stink in the city in the last month. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as protestors called for a change in government, according to multiple media reports.
— Rana Harbi (@RanaHarbi) August 22, 2015
The Lebanese Daily Star reported progressive socialist party leader Walid Jumbaltt called for Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk to step down because the level of force used by police.
Even within the ruling government there has been dissent over police brutality. Education minister Elias Bou Saab told a Lebanese TV station he would have joined the protests if he’d been in the country.
"We joined a government that wants to fight Nusra Front and ISIS, not one that attacks innocent citizens expressing their opinions," he said. "If these people were supported by a political party, no one would have dared to order these attacks on them."
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— Nadine Moawad (@nmoawad) August 22, 2015