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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
29 May 2007



Situation Update: 24 hours up to 15:30, 29 May, 2007
May 29th, 2007

Clerics mediate as army tightens grip on Nahr El Bared

The Lebanese Army strengthened its positions on 28 May around the Nahr El Bared refugee camp. While calm prevailed on 28 May morning, clashes resumed toward the evening, with intermittent to heavy fire from inside the camp. The army responded with mortar rounds. An army soldier was wounded when militants fired at a position on the Mhamara heights overlooking the camp. The army responded by shelling the northern end of the camp near Abdeh.

Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said that Nahr El Bared crisis requires a “peaceful” solution that guarantees the eradication of the Fatah al-Islam militant group, or else the government will take the necessary measures. He added that the Lebanese Army “fully backed by the entire population, remains the sole entity with the right to exercise the use of force legitimately, as a last resort, in defending its citizens’ security.”

Two men killed at airport checkpoint

Lebanese troops opened fire at a speeding taxi which drove past their checkpoint near Beirut Airport, killing the Syrian driver and a Lebanese passenger. Security Sources said that Hamadeh Mahmoud Haj Ahmad, a Syrian national, was driving the vehicle at high speed, and refused to slow down upon instructions from soldiers manning a checkpoint near the airport. The soldiers opened fire on the car that crashed against a separation wall in the middle of the street. An investigation has been launched to determine if they died of gunshot wounds or because of the crash. However, preliminary reports said that the Syrian national was wanted by the Police for forgery crimes.

No casualties as grenade rocks Zahle

An explosion shook the Bekaa Valley town of Zahle on 28 May evening, the fifth such attack in Lebanon since May 20. Security sources said no one was hurt and no property damaged in the blast, which was caused by a concussion grenade thrown into a garden adjacent to the town municipality. The municipal building is also home to a jail operated by the Internal Security Forces.

UN Team to Assess Security of Lebanon-Syria Borders

A UN team arrived in Lebanon on 28 May to assess security of the Lebanese-Syrian borders and verify reports of alleged arms smuggling from Syria in violation of UN Security council resolutions 1559 and 1701.

SITUATION BY AREA:

Situation in the North Lebanon: Situation is now quiet but cautious following heavy clashes and shelling last night in the Nahr El Bared camp. The humanitarian situation is aggravating (shortage of food, potable water and electricity and possible problems due to lack of access to health care).

So far, a total of 5466 families are displaced from Nahr El Bared camp have been located, out of whom 4665 families remain in North Lebanon Area (both inside and outside of Beddawi camp).

In Beddawi Camp, all UNRWA installations (other than schools) are operating normally. Families in the camp are hosting IDPs from Nahr El Bared. Assistance provided by UNRWA in Beddawi camp so far was 6113 mattresses, 5502 covers, 5464 pillows, 1903 hygiene kits, 2361 food parcels about 4000 bundles of bread 848 water bottles (5 litre each) and soap.

Situation in Central Lebanon: All UNRWA installations operating normally. About 242 food parcels were distributed to IDPs in CLA so far. There are now:

  • 159 displaced families from Nahr El Bared Camp in B/Barajneh Camp;
  • 150 displaced families from Nahr El Bared Camp in Shatila Camp; and
  • 12 displaced families from Nahr El Bared Camp in Mar Elias Camp.

    Situation in the Beqaa Valley: All UNRWA operations in Beqaa area are functioning normally. Distributions of aids from UNRWA to displaced families started at Beqaa Area. A total of 72 displaced families have arrived in the Beqaa area.

    Situation in Tyre Area (South): All installations operating normally. A total of 179 displaced families from Nahr El Bared Camp arrived to Tyre area. IDP families have started to receive assistance from UNRWA.

    Situation in the Saida Area: UNRWA services are operating normally. In total 219 families displaced from Nahr El Bared camp arrived in Saida. 125 IDP families have already received assistance from UNRWA.

    UNRWA assistance to the IDPs in the areas outside North Lebanon includes: Mattresses, pillows, covers hygiene kits and food parcels (containing food supplies for 5 persons for a period of 30 days).


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