Islamic Jihad denies existence of camps in Syria


The Islamic Jihad movement has denied it has any training camps in Syria, denouncing reports that Israeli forces had attacked a camp belonging to thePalestinian militant group.

"The Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine announces that the Israeli allegations that it struck a military training camp belonging to Islamic Jihad in Syria are completely devoid of truth," it said in a statement faxed to Reuters in Beirut.

"The Islamic Jihad movement asserts that it does not have any bases or training centres or any military presence in Syria."

The Israeli army said its forces attacked a training camp belonging to Islamic Jihad deep in Syria early on Sunday a day after a suicide bombing that killed 19 people in Israel and was claimed by Islamic Jihad.

The Israeli army has not released details on the attack, but a security source said the facility near Damascus was bombed by warplanes.

A Palestinian source said the raid targeted "an abandoned training camp" that belonged to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

"This Israeli announcement is a failed attempt by leaders of the Zionist entity to export to neighbouring states its internal crisis and historic impasse that the Intifada (uprising) and resistance has sown," the Islamic Jihad statement said.

Israeli military sources say Islamic Jihad has its headquarters in Syria.

The army said it had targeted Syria because of its links to Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian militant groups.