Tripoli - A top Fatah al-Islam militant who was known to send fighters to Iraq has been killed in fighting with Lebanese troops in the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, officials said Sunday.
The Fatah al-Islam official, Naim Deeb Ghali, who is also known as Abu Riad, was the third-in-command of the group, said Lebanese security officials on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Fatah al-Islam's deputy commander, Abu Hureira, a Lebanese whose real name is Shehab al-Qaddour, said that Abu Riad, was killed Friday. Asked if Abu Riad was a senior Fatah Islam official, Abu Hureira said, "he is a brother."
Palestinian officials in refugee camps near this southern city also confirmed Ghali was killed.
They said Ghali was known in the Ein el-Hilweh and Mieh Mieh refugee camps near Sidon as a militant who recruited fighters to go to Iraq and fight U.S. troops. After complaints in the camps against him, Ghali moved to Nahr el-Bared refugee camp near the northern city of Tripoli and joined Fatah Islam and stayed there until his death, said the Palestinian officials, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
On May 21, Lebanese troops killed Abu Madyan, who they said was the group's second-in-commmand.
The army most probably is now focusing on killing the fugitive Shakir al-Absi who is the top military leader of Fatah al-Islam.
Picture: Lebanese army soldiers from a navy commandos unit, salutes his colleagues as they replace another unit at the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared during clashes with fighters from the Fatah Islam militant group, in the northern city of Tripoli, Saturday June 2, 2007
Sources: AP, Ya Libnan
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