Palestinian official assassinated in Lebanese refugee camp

Talal al-Urdini and his bodyguard were gunned down in the Ain al-Hilweh camp on Saturday

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A senior Palestinian official has been assassinated in a Lebanese refugee camp, according to the country’s security officials.

Lebanese officials say Talal al-Urduni, a senior security official within Palestine’s Fatah movement, died on Saturday after he and his bodyguard were ambushed and gunned near the Nidaa hospital in a neighbourhood of the Ain al-Hilweh camp.

The camp is the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon and known as a “haven” for escaped militants, according to the Associated Press.

Lebanese officials say they believe Islamic extremists in the camp were responsible for the attack.

The assassination was followed by heavy gunfire within the camp, which could be heard in the nearby port city of Sidon.

The camp was first formed in 1948 when Israel was first formed. Its inhabitants have swelled to 120,000 in recent years since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, according to Middle East Monitor.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press