Blast kills senior Palestinian official in Lebanon

March 23rd, 2009 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Beirut, March 23 (DPA) A Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) official and four of his bodyguards were killed Monday when a roadside bomb targeted their convoy near a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, Lebanese army and Palestinian sources said.
Kamal Medhat, assistant to PLO representative in Lebanon Abbas Zaki, was killed in the blast near the Miyeh Miyeh camp on the outskirts of the port city of Sidon.

Palestinian factions inside Ain el-Hilweh and Miyeh Miyeh camps went on the alert while the Lebanese army took strong security measures in the vicinity of the shantytowns.

A Lebanese army source told DPA that the blast hurled Medhat’s car into a nearby valley, killing him and his bodyguards instantly.

“Kamal Medhat was killed along with four of his bodyguards when a roadside bomb exploded as his convoy drove by, near the entrance to the camp,” said Munir Maqdah, in charge of security at Lebanon’s 12 refugee camps.

TV footage showed Medhat’s vehicle plunged into a large crater formed by the force of the explosion.

Kamal Medhat - otherwise known as Brigadier Kamal Naji - had been in charge over the past few years of the situation inside the Palestinian camp of Ain El Hilweh camp, biggest camp in southern Lebanon and which has witnessed several clashes between the mainstream Fatah movement and Hamas.

There are some 367,000 Palestinian refugees living in 12 camps across Lebanon.

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