Lebanese army chief urges his forces to keep their rifles aimed in “proper direction, Israeli army and terror”

This injunction was included in Gen. Michel Suleiman’s order of the day marking the Lebanese army’s victory over al Qaeda-linked Fatah al-Islam Monday after a four-month battle at the northern Nahr al-Bared refugee camp near Tripoli.
debkafile‘s military sources say the battle raging against a pro-Syrian Palestinian Islamist faction holed up there since May is not yet over. The Lebanese army has indeed captured the camp, but an underground labyrinth of tunnels and bunkers remains to be purged. According to intelligence estimates, dozens of fighters are still holed up there and plentifully supplied with arms. Monday, Lebanese soldiers entering the camp were beset with a series of explosions.
debkafile‘s sources disclose that East German military engineers built the Nahr al Barad subterranean fortress in the 80s for Yasser Arafat and his armed Fatah men as a shelter from Israeli air raids. Its purge will be painful and difficult. The Lebanese army has forbidden entry to the camp and told its Palestinian inhabitants they cannot return for the time being.
The final battle of Nahr al Barad was triggered by an Islamist attack Sunday morning on a Lebanese military position from three directions. The assault’s failure with heavy casualties sent the Palestinian extremists diving underground. At least 30 Palestinian Fatah al-Islam fighters were reported killed and more than 40 captured. Five Lebanese troops also died. Fatah al-Islam leader Shaker al-Abassi was killed. His body was identified by his wife.

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