06/06/2007, 00.00
LEBANON
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Army enters Nahr el-Bared, first terrorists surrender

A truckload of weapons coming from Syria is stopped as explosive experts dismantle a bomb set to explode in Tyre. Security authorities find a depot with more than 200 kg of explosives.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – With Lebanese troops moving into the Palestinian refugee camp in Nahr el-Bared, Fatah al-Islam militants began surrendering after 18 days of siege. Even though their total number is not yet known, only those who are still resisting have denied that any are giving up the fight.

Elsewhere in the country security sources confirmed today that Lebanese troops seized a truckload of weapons coming from Syria at an army checkpoint at Dors in the Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

Lebanese army explosive experts also dismantled a bomb set to explode near a rest house in the southernmost port city of Tyre and security authorities discovered a depot containing more than 200 kg of explosives in a house of suspected Fatah al-Islam militants in Lebanon’s Akkar province.

The army shelled in Nahr el-Bared last night and today exchanged fire with the militants. But according to some sources 6 to 20 militants surrendered to the mainstream Fatah movement in the besieged camp. For his part Fatah commander in Lebanon, Sultan Abul Aynain, said that three were arrested and 18 pulled back from the fight in exchange for a fair trial.

Some 75 fighters are believed to remain under Fatah al-Islam leader Chaker Absi who said that anyone who tried to surrender would be executed on the spot.

Yesterday afternoon a Red Cross humanitarian convoy took advantage of a lull in the fighting to bring much needed supplies into the camp for the 5,000 or so residents still left.

Meanwhile Palestinian groups like Fatah and smaller Islamic groups are trying to find ways to end the fighting.

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