Friday, 23 September 2016
Lebanese Army Arrests Daesh Emir in Ain al-Hilweh
Lebanese Army Arrests Daesh Emir in Refugee Camp
The Lebanese Army detained Thursday Daesh’s [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] emir in Ain al-Hilweh after gun battles between extremists and Fatah movement rocked Palestinian refugee camp overnight.
According to the Daily Star, the Army Commando Unit entered the Taware neighborhood in a stealth operation and arrested the senior Daesh commander, Imad Yassine, as he was at a local shop.
The security source said that the suspect was caught by surprise and didn’t resist arrest.
Sounds of gunfire could be heard at the camp after the army finished its operation. It is not clear where Yassine was transported.
The Taware neighborhood, in Ain al-Hilweh’s Taamir area, is under the control of Palestinian forces and is mainly considered a hub for extremists and Takfiris.
The camp witnessed a tense night Wednesday as the Takfiri group exchanged gunfire with Fatah members, compelling some residents to flee the area.
Dozens of Palestinian refugees and a number of Lebanese from the Sidon camp of Ain al-Hilweh and the adjacent Taamir area had surrendered to Lebanese Army Intelligence in recent weeks. Many of them are supporters of Salafist extremist Ahmad al-Assir.
There had been concerns that Daesh could use Ain al-Hilweh as a base from which to carry out future attacks in Lebanon. The camp is a haven for a number of extremist factions deemed terrorist organizations by the state, and has seen a recent upswing in assassinations and factional violence.
The security source added that machine guns and rocket propelled grenades were used in the armed dispute between members of the extremist group affiliated to Bilal Badr and Fatah fighters, which erupted between a vegetable market and Al-Fawqani street. Sporadic gunfire could still be heard in the early morning hours.
However, no casualties had been reported.
The fighting came after the camp held a general strike for the second consecutive day Wednesday to protest the killing of a Palestinian taxi driver.
Media reports said Thursday that the clashes began after relatives of the slain driver Simon Taha attempted to block a nearby road, prompting masked gunmen to open fire.
Palestinian sources suggested that 32-year-old Taha was shot Monday over allegations that he was a Lebanese Army informant who had helped convince wanted men to surrender. Others believe the motives were personal.
In July, religious figures in the camp and Lebanese authorities established an agreement to encourage fugitives hiding in Ain al-Hilweh to hand themselves in. More than 60 fugitives hiding in the camp had surrendered over the past two months.
Source: Daily Star, Edited by website team
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