Lebanese army kill 16 Fatah militants: report

By Xinhua

Beirut : An estimated 16 Fatah al-Islam fighters were believed to have been killed as the Lebanese army continued advancing on Fatah al-Islam positions in northern Lebanon, local media reported Saturday.

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Lebanon's National news agency said 16 militants were believed to have been killed Friday, in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, while the army reported no casualties.

Meanwhile, the Daily Star newspaper said the army continued to take over buildings used by Fatah al-Islam snipers and tighten the grip on remnants of Fatah al-Islam fighters with heavy and persistent bombardment.

The English daily quoted a senior army source as saying that the army was advancing "extremely slow" and clearing rigged buildings and troops have not yet penetrated into the heart of the camp.

In a statement issued Friday, the army said it is steadily taking control of militant positions in and around the camp with the aim of "ending this deviant phenomenon" that has been imposed on Lebanon for the purpose of creating instability and insecurity in the country.

Meanwhile, mediation efforts continued as a group of Sunni clerics and politicians, known as Islamic Action Front, met with Palestinian clerics Friday evening trying to mediate a peaceful end to the clashes.

The Lebanese army have been fighting with Fatah al-Islam militants at the Nahr al-Bared camp since May 20.