Relatives of Fatah Islam’s deputy commander Shehab al-Qaddour known as Abu Hureira, who was killed on July 31 in clashes with Lebanese security forces, hold his body, wrapped with a white shroud during his funeral in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007. The No. 2 commander of al-Qaida-inspired Islamic militants battling Lebanese troops in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon for more than three months was buried on Saturday, a month after his death. (AP Photo)

NAHR AL-BARED, Lebanon (AFP)  sept 1- Lebanese troops have seized control of the homes of top Islamist militia leaders as they tighten the noose on fighters besieged in a refugee camp for more than three months. An army spokesman said the troops on Friday seized the homes of Shaker al-Absi and Abu Hureira, leaders of the Fatah al-Islam group holed up in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp near the Mediterranean coast in northern Lebanon.

"The army continues to advance and close in on the last positions of the gunmen who are now in a small area," the spokesman said on Saturday."They are in underground shelters from where they sneak out every now and then to open sniper fire on the soldiers." Abssi is the leader of the Al Qaeda-inspired Sunni extremist group which has been locked in fierce fighting with the Lebanese army since May 20 after its militants attacked army targets in the north.

Abssi’s deputy, Abu Hureira, was killed at a road checkpoint in the port city of Tripoli a month ago.

One of Abu Hureira’s brothers, who did not wish to be identified by name, told AFP that the Fatah al-Islam number two was buried on Saturday in a cemetery near his parents’ home in Tripoli.

Residents of Abu Hureira’s native village of Mishmish in northern Lebanon had refused to allow the family to inter him in the village cemetery. Several Lebanese soldiers killed by Fatah al-Islam are from Mishmish.

Nahr al-Bared’s 31,000 residents fled the camp at the start of the battles, but about 60 militants are believed to be still inside and have refused repeated appeals to surrender.

More than 200 people have been killed in the fighting, including 153 soldiers.