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Amerika terus bekalkan senjata untuk askar Lebanon

More arms reach Lebanon

Nahr Al-Bared, Lebanon, May 27 - The United States sent more ammunition on Saturday to Lebanon, whose army is struggling to defeat a group of heavily armed Islamist militants holed up inside a Palestinian refugee camp.

Three US Air Force cargo planes landed at Beirut's airport and unloaded ammunition and other equipment for the army, airport sources said. Six planes carrying similar military aid from the US and Arab allies arrived on Friday.

The shipments, promised months ago but rushed after fighting erupted between the army and Fatah Al Islam on May 20, arrived as Lebanese soldiers beefed up their positions around Nahr Al Bared camp, the militants' main base.

Fatah Al Islam has claimed to have over 500 fighters with automatic weapons, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, inside the camp.

US arms are a sensitive issue in a nation deeply divided between supporters of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora's government and an opposition backed by America's Mideast foes, Iran and Syria. The Shiite Hezbollah-led opposition accuses Siniora of having too close ties to Washington.

Prime Minister Siniora rejected opposition criticism over US military aid.

The militant Fatah Al Islam group, which has vowed to fight to the death, said in a statement the US military supplies included nerve gas and cluster bombs.

"If they use unconventional weapons against us, we will respond with unconventional attacks everywhere," said the statement, read by the group's spokesman Abu Salim Taha.

A Lebanese military spokesman said he had no reaction to "these false allegations which are not worth commenting on".

Later, a purported leader of Fatah Al Islam issued a new threat in videotaped message carried on Al Jazeera television.

The group would fight "the Jews, the Americans and their loyalists", Shaker Al Abssi said, referring to Lebanese leaders. Agencies via Gulfnews

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