updated 6/15/2007 10:35:38 AM ET 2007-06-15T14:35:38

Lebanese troops raided an Islamic militant position inside a besieged Palestinian refugee camp, sparking a battle that killed at least four soldiers Friday in renewed fighting.

Troops unleashed artillery barrages into the Nahr el-Bared camp on the outskirts of the northern city of Tripoli on Friday as they stepped up their four-week assault against Fatah Islam, the al-Qaida-inspired militant group barricaded inside.

For nearly two hours, troops surrounding the camp pounded with heavy artillery and tank fire suspected militant positions, sending black and gray smoke billowing in the sky, security officials said. The intense bombardment started fires in several shell-punctured buildings in the camp.

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