Lebanese army arrests local Islamic State leader in Palestinian camp

September 22, 2016 12:40 PM EDT

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Lebanese army said it had arrested a leader of a local Islamic State group on the outskirts of the Palestinian Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in south Lebanon on Thursday.

In a statement published by state media, the army said Imad Yasin was wanted "in connection with terrorist bombings on military positions, infrastructure and tourist facilities, markets and popular gatherings".

Ain al-Hilweh, near the city of Saida, is often the scene of fighting between competing factions inside the camp.

Security in the Palestinian camps is the responsibility of a joint Palestinian force, not the Lebanese security services, meaning that the army hardly ever enters.

A security source said Yasin, who had been a member of other Islamist groups before the rise of Islamic State, was wanted in connection with bombings in the south and the central Mount Lebanon region.

A number of people fled the area where he was arrested, local media and a witness said.

There had been shooting overnight in the camp's central market area between members of the Palestinian political group Fatah and various Islamist groups, a witness and Lebanon's National News Agency said.

(Reporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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