Nine Civilians Killed in Second Day of Clashes in Lebanon

Medical workers say shelling killed nine Palestinian civilians as Lebanese troops clashed for a second day with Islamic militants in a Palestinian refugee camp.

Thick smoke billowed from the (Nahr-el-Bared) refugee camp in the northern city of Tripoli Monday, as Lebanese tanks and artillery pounded militants from the Fatah al-Islam group.

Officials say nearly 50 people were killed Sunday, including 27 soldiers and at least 17 militants, along with some civilians.

Lebanese security officials say one of the Islamic militants killed Sunday was a suspect in a failed plot to blow up trains in Germany last year.

Officials say the body of Saddam el-Hajdib was found among the bodies of 10 Fatah al-Islam fighters in a building raided by Lebanese troops Sunday.

The fighting broke out after police raided suspected Fatah al-Islam hideouts in a Tripoli neighborhood, looking for suspects in a bank robbery.

The group is suspected of having ties to al-Qaida.

Elsewhere, one woman was killed and several other people wounded late Sunday in an explosion in Beirut's Christian sector. It is not clear who was responsible.

The battles in Tripoli are said to be the worst internal fighting since Lebanon's 15-year civil war ended in 1990.

France's new Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has expressed solidarity with Lebanon, and stressed the importance of Lebanon's sovereignty and stability. He spoke by telephone with Lebanon's Western-backed Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.