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Grenade blast rocks Palestinian camp in south Lebanon

Dec. 11, 2010 2:38 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 11, 2010 2:38 P.M.)
BEIRUT (AFP) -- A grenade attack on the home of a member of an Al-Qaeda splinter group rocked a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon overnight without causing injuries, a security official said on Saturday.

"No one was injured in the hand grenade attack on the home of a Jund al-Sham member from the Sahmarani family in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp just before midnight," a police spokesman told AFP.

Jund al-Sham, the Arabic for "Army of Greater Syria," is a radical Sunni militant group believed to be based in Ain al-Hilweh, the largest of Lebanon's 12 refugee camps.

Ain al-Hilweh, outside the southern coastal city of Sidon, has gained notoriety as a refuge for extremists and fugitives.

By longstanding convention, the Lebanese army does not enter the country's camps, leaving security inside in the hands of Palestinian factions.

Most of Lebanon's hundreds of thousands of refugees live in the overpopulated camps, which are armed to the teeth and which international organisations warn provide fertile recruiting grounds for Islamist extremists.

On October 28, a 13-year-old boy was killed and four other people wounded in a grenade blast outside a scrapmetal yard in northern Lebanon's Nahr al-Bared camp, scene of a fierce 2007 battle between Islamists and the Lebanese army.
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