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Two soldiers killed as Lebanese army closes in on camp

BEIRUT, July 16 (RIA Novosti) - Two Lebanese soldiers were killed Monday as fighting with Islamists continued inside a refugee camp the Lebanese had promised not to enter.

Lebanon, whose military told the local media Monday the six-week fight with the Fatah al-Islam radical group was close to an end, did not enter the Nahr al-Bared camp until last week.

Under a 1969 Cairo agreement the Lebanese Army was forbidden to enter the camp. Although Lebanon officially withdrew from the pact in the mid-1980s, the country had until last week continued to observe the agreement.

The military said the remaining Fatah al-Islam loyalists are currently firing rockets at neighboring villages, while the Lebanese army is responding by shelling their launch positions and shelters.

Since May 30, the Islamists have killed at least 100 Lebanese soldiers in the city of Tripoli and in the camp. Lebanon says over 300 gunmen were killed and wounded in the army's retaliation.

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