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January 25, 2003

Two Bombs Hit Lebanon Palestinian Refugee Camp

Perhaps this was boot camp training for would-be anti-Israeli suicide bombers.
AIN EL-HILWEH, Lebanon (Reuters) - Two bombs ripped through a cafe and a shop in Lebanon's largest refugee camp on Saturday, Palestinian security sources said.

The sources said an unknown assailant threw a bomb at a cafe on the outskirts of the Ain el-Hilweh camp before dawn on Saturday, damaging the cafe and a car parked nearby. Shortly afterwards, another bomb ripped into a shop.

No one was injured in either attack, which the sources attributed to ongoing political tensions although neither shop owner had any known political affiliations. The bombings were the latest in a string of bombs in the camp near the southern port city of Sidon, where tensions have run high since Islamic militants clashed with fighters loyal to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction in August, leaving three people dead.

Lebanese politicians hostile to some 350,000 Palestinian refugees registered in about a dozen camps across Lebanon point to Ain el-Hilweh as a haven for militants and organized crime.