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Lebanon: Three Hamas members killed at Palestinian camp

The incident took place during a funeral procession for a Hamas member who was killed in a blast at a refugee camp on Friday night
Hamas members take part in a funeral procession for Hamza Ibrahim Shahin in the Burj al-Shemali refugee camp near the Lebanese city of Tyre on 12 December 2021 (AFP)

Three Hamas members died on Sunday when shooting erupted at the funeral procession of a member of the Palestinian movement in a refugee camp in south Lebanon, the group said.

Hamas official Raafat al-Murra said members from the rival Fatah movement "shot at the funeral procession" of a Palestinian killed on Friday in a blast in the Burj al-Shemali camp, outside the port city of Tyre. Six people were also wounded in the shooting.

A camp resident told AFP armed clashes followed the shooting, and that elements of both Fatah and Hamas had been deployed.

Speaking to Reuters in Ramallah by phone from Beruit, the Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon, Ashraf Dabour, rejected Hamas' allegations.

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"This is a rejected and a condemned action… Investigation committees will reveal who stood behind it," Dabour said.

"We have made contacts with Hamas leaders and demanded they wait for the investigation results."

Officially, Lebanon hosts about 192,000 Palestinian refugees, most of whom live in the country's 12 camps, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). A number of armed Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah, hold effective control over the Palestinian camps in the country.

By longstanding agreement, the Lebanese army does not enter the camps, leaving security inside to Palestinian factions.

Hamas member Hamza Ibrahim Shahin died of wounds sustained when a large explosion rocked the camp Friday night, injuring several people.

Hamas said in a statement on Saturday that the blast was caused by an electrical fault in a warehouse containing oxygen and gas cylinders for coronavirus patients, as well as detergents and disinfectants.

Hamas denied media reports that an arms depot belonging to the group had blown up.