- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 1, 2003

SIDON, Lebanon, March 1 (UPI) — An Egyptian Muslim fundamentalist was killed and two other people were wounded Saturday in an explosion inside a Palestinian refugee camp in south Lebanon, according to security sources.

A booby-trapped car exploded at dawn in front of a shop owned by Farouk al-Masri inside the refugee camp of Ein el-Helweh at the outskirts of the southern port city of Sidon.

Al-Masri, identified as an Egyptian fundamentalist who came to the camp six years ago, was instantly killed. Two other Palestinians were wounded in the explosion which also damaged a number of cars and shops.

Sheikh Jamal Khattab, spokesman of the Islamic forces in Ein el-Hewleh camp, accused Israel of being behind the deadly explosion.

Khattab said Israel named al-Masri last year when it claimed that Lebanon was hosting 200 members of the al-Qaida followers in Lebanon — a charge strongly denied by Lebanon. According to Israeli claims, al-Masri was the al-Qaida leader in Lebanon.

Maher Shabaita, Fatah spokesman in the camp, also accused Israel of masterminding the explosion with the aim of disturbing security in the shantytown.

Shabaita said investigation were underway to disclose who drove the booby-trapped car to the camp.

The Ein el-Helweh camp, the largest shantytown in south Lebanon with more than 65,000 refugees, has been the scene of almost daily bombings in the past months.




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