Abu Nidal Group Official Killed in Shootout in South Lebanon
TYRE, Lebanon (AP) _ An official of the radical Palestinian group led by terrorist Abu Nidal was killed Saturday during machine gun exchanges with rival Palestinain fighters at a refugee camp near Tyre.
Police said Omar Hamadeh, Tyre regional commander of Abu Nidal’s Fatah- Revolutionary Council, was killed in a sudden flare-up with fighters of PLO chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah group. Hamadeh’s bodyguard, Mohammed Meri, also was wounded in the shootout, police reported.
They said Hamadeh’s death caused intensified clashes with machine guns and hand grenades inside the camp. The Rashidiyeh camp, 50 miles south of Beirut, is home to 18,500 Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations and an unknown number of unregistered refugees and other occupants.
The fighting followed the assassination of a PLO official at his home in Rashidiyeh on Friday. No group has claimed responsibility for the killing. But a PLO statement blamed it on ″Israeli collaborators seeking to trigger a war″ between Arafat loyalists and opponents in the camps.
Fatah-Revolutionary Council and Fatah are at odds because of a bitter feud over policy between Abu Nidal, whose real name is Sabri al-Banna, and Arafat.
Abu Nidal’s group is outside the PLO, which brings together a number of Palestinian guerrilla groups, the largest being Arafat’s Fatah.