Lebanese army soldier deploys beside the Mieh
Lebanese army soldier deploys beside the MiehReuters

Nine people registered as “Palestinian refugees” were killed Monday in clashes between two armed groups in the Mieh Mieh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, local sources told AFP.

A source in the camp said the groups involved in the clashes were not officially affiliated with any major faction.

He named them as the Ansar Allah group, led by a former member of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, and the Shuhada al-Awda group, whose leader is close to another former Fatah member, Mohammed Dahlan, Abbas’s longtime political rival.

A PA official said Shuhada al-Awda's leader and two of his brothers were among those killed. Another three fighters from the group also died, as well as two gunmen from Ansar Allah.

A Palestinian Arab working for an emergency association was killed while trying to transport one of the more than 20 people wounded in the fighting, according to AFP.

A Fatah official for southern Lebanon said the dispute between the groups began several weeks ago as a personal disagreement between their members.

He said the clashes had stopped and efforts were under way to restore calm in the camp.

There are thousands of people registered as Palestinian refugees in Israel’s neighboring countries, including Lebanon and Syria, where they have been caught in the Syrian civil war.

Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have limited work options and are refused citizenship.

Under a long-standing agreement, Lebanese security forces do not enter the camps, where armed groups regularly clash with each other, noted AFP.

In November, it was reported that one of two suicide bombers who had targeted Iran’s embassy in Beirut was a “Palestinian with links to a militant Islamist preacher.”