Automatic weapons and anti-tank fire shook south Lebanon's Ain al-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp on Monday, after fighting killed six people over the weekend, an AFP correspondent said.
The clashes between members of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's secular Fatah movement and Islamists have forced dozens of frightened residents to flee their homes in the camp, which has gained notoriety as a refuge for extremists and fugitives.
Limited skirmishes erupted again Sunday night, escalating into heavy clashes with gunfire and shelling on Monday, said the AFP correspondent in the southern city of Sidon, where the camp is located.
"Things are supposed to go back to normal soon," an official involved in the ceasefire negotiations told AFP, asking for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The official added that they were working on "preventing further escalation".
Palestinian factions said they had reached a ceasefire on Sunday, but the truce did not hold.
On Monday morning, Lebanon's official news agency NNA reported "increased clashes" using heavy weaponry, with exchanges of gunfire concentrated in the al-Tawarek neighbourhood -- a stronghold for Islamist extremists.
Dozens of residents, mostly women and children, fled the camp carrying light luggage, while others took refuge in a nearby mosque, AFP's correspondent said.
Fighting began overnight on Saturday, killing an Islamist and injuring six others, a Palestinian source inside the camp had told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons.
The next day, a Fatah military leader and four of his colleagues were killed during a "heinous operation", the group said.
Shells also fell outside the walls of the camp over the past two days, AFP observed. A nearby hospital evacuated patients and shops in Sidon closed fearing further escalation.
Fighting between rival groups is common in Ain al-Helweh, which is home to more than 54,000 registered Palestinian refugees who have been joined in recent years by thousands of Palestinians fleeing the war in Syria.
By long-standing convention, the Lebanese army does not enter Palestinian refugee camps in the country, leaving the factions themselves to handle security.
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