2. Convoy of red cross evacuating injured from camp
Tripoli, Northern Lebanon - 20 May 2007
3. Various of people causing damage to the Baath (pro-Syrian) party office
4. Protesters waving Lebanese flags in the street
5. Protesters carrying sign from the Baath party office
6. Protesters causing damage to the Baath party office
Beirut - 20 May 2007
7. Exterior of Prime Minister's office
8. Wide of meeting
9. Mid of Fouad Saniora
10. Mid of Army commander Michel Suleiman and the Secretary General of the High Defence Council, Said Eid
11. Wide of meeting
12. Mid of internal security forces commander Ashraf Reefi
13. Various of meeting
14. Wide of Information Minister Gazi Al-Aridi during the briefing
15. SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Gazi Al-Aridi, Information Minister:
"Yes there are casualties within the group (Fatah Al-Islam) and some of them are highly ranked in the organisation.There are around ten killed and there are prisoners. Some of them are not Lebanese and when we have a full picture we will announce everything."
10. Wide of Al-Aridi during the briefing
11. SOUNDBITE: (Arabic) Gazi Al-Aridi, Information Minister:
"The decision is clear. There are security procedures underway.The army commander and security officials briefed us about those procedures because hunting those cells down will continue. We had casualties. We will continue and those cells were also hit."
12. Wide of Al-Aridi during the briefing
AP PHOTO - NO ACCESS CANADA/INTERNET
FILE: 13 March 2007
13. Various STILLS of Shaker al-Absi with three other armoured men
Lebanese army tanks continued on Monday to pound a shadowy group suspected of ties to al-Qaida, targeting its hideouts inside a Palestinian refugee camp after hours of clashes killed at least 22 soldiers and 17 militants.
The violence on Sunday between the army and the Fatah Islam group erupted both in the northern port city of Tripoli and the adjacent Nahr el-Bared refugee camp.
Meanwhile anger against the Syrian regime mounted in Northern Lebanon.
In an anti-Syrian protest, citizens in Tripoli protested outside the Baath (pro Syrian) political party offices on Sunday.
Protesters damaged the offices by tearing away party billboards from the façade of the building.
Some Lebanese security officials consider Fatah Islam a radical Sunni Muslim group with ties to al-Qaida or at least al-Qaida-style militancy and doctrine.
Others say they are a front for Syrian military intelligence aimed at destabilising Lebanon.
The demonstration comes at a time when U.N. Security Council is considering imposing an international tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri.
A U.N. investigation has linked Syrian and Lebanese security officials to the 2005 truck bombing that killed Hariri, and it has been expanded to include the other Beirut attacks.
Syria has denied involvement in any of the bombings, but the country was forced to withdraw its army from Lebanon after a 29-year presence two months after Hariri's assassination.
The Lebanese government reacted to the clashes by vowing to step up its security crackdown on members of the militant Fatah Islam group.
The fighting added further instability to a country already mired in its worst political crisis between the Western-backed government and Hezbollah-led opposition since the end of the 1975-90 Lebanese civil war.
It was the most serious fight the army had engaged in Lebanon in more than a decade and the worst violence to hit Tripoli in two decades.
The clashes between army troops surrounding the camp and Fatah Islam fighters began after a gun battle raged in a neighbourhood in Tripoli, a predominantly Sunni city known to have Islamic fundamentalists, witnesses said.
Fighting spread after police raided suspected Fatah Islam hideouts in several buildings in Tripoli, searching for men wanted in a recent bank robbery.
A gun battle ensued and troops were called in to help the police.
Militants then burst out of the refugee camp, seizing Lebanese army positions, capturing two armoured vehicles and ambushing troops.
They killed two soldiers on roads leading to the city.
Smoke billowed from the camp as a steady barrage of artillery and heavy machine gunfire from army positions pounded militant positions inside.
Security forces were able to quell the resistance in Tripoli after sundown, according to the army and troops seized all positions around the refugee camp late Sunday, they said.
Gazi Al-Aridi, Lebanon's Information Minister, said heavy shelling of the camp earlier in the day had led to the death of several senior members of the group.
"Yes there are casualties within the group and some of them are highly ranked in the organisation.There are around ten killed and there are prisoners. Some of them are not Lebanese and when we have a full picture we will announce everything," he told reporters.
One senior Lebanese security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, named one of the high-ranking members of Fatah Islam believed to have been killed as Abu Yazan.
Fatah Islam is an offshoot of the pro-Syrian Fatah Uprising, which broke from the mainstream Palestinian Fatah movement in the early 1980s and has headquarters in Syria, Lebanese officials say.
It is believed purportedly, to be led by Shaker Youssef al-Absi, a Palestinian who was sentenced to death in absentia in July 2004 by a Jordanian military court for conspiring in a plot that led to the assassination in Jordan of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley. Al-Qaida in Iraq and its former leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi were blamed for the killing.