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Libanons forsvarsminister stilte medlemmene av Fatah al-Islam overfor et ultimatum onsdag: Overgi dere eller dø.

«Preparations are seriously underway to end the matter,» Defense Minister Elias Murr said in an interview with the Al-Arabiya television. «The army will not negotiate with a group of terrorists and criminals. Their fate is arrest, and if they resist the army, death.»

At least 22 militants, 32 soldiers and 27 civilians have been killed in the fighting this week in Lebanon’s worst internal violence since the 1975-1990 civil war.

Lebanese military officials reported they had retrieved the body of the second-in-command of the Fatah al-Islam militant group Wednesday.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media, said that the Lebanese Civil Defense personnel uncovered the body of Abu Madyan in the area of Abde, just north of the Nahr al-Bared camp on the outskirts of the port city of Tripoli.

Det kan bli aktuelt for hæren å gå inn i Nahr el-Bared. Det vil ikke palestinerne like, men de tør neppe protestere. Deres posisjon er svekket etter opprøret i Nahr el-Bared.

Den arabiske liga har bestemt seg for å støtte regjeringshæren. Samtidig har regjeringen bedt USA om 220 millioner dollar i militær assistanse, opplyste State Department onsdag.

Lebanese Defense Minister to militants: Surrender or die

En fighter fra Fatah al-Islam står og ser mot flyktningeleiren Nahr el-Bared onsdag.