By Wednesday (26 May) at least 50 people were reported to have been killed or wounded in west Beirut, after increased shelling and machine-gun fire between the Moslem and ChrIstian areas of the divided city - and some of theme were probably children.
GV Child solder inspecting can burning in street
GV Small boy jumping from armoured vehicle and rushing to take up position in derelict house
GV Fire engine leaving site of fire watched by child soldier
GV Adult soldiers and small boys talking in street (5 shots)
GV Small boy on guard
GV Boy soldiers walking arm in arm down street
GV EXTERIOR Jumblatt's home
GV Leaders in session talking with Jumblatt (3 shots)
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Background: By Wednesday (26 May) at least 50 people were reported to have been killed or wounded in west Beirut, after increased shelling and machine-gun fire between the Moslem and ChrIstian areas of the divided city - and some of theme were probably children.
The Visnews camera team - Bill McConville, Elie Azzi and Noel Alexandre - report that the Lebanese civil war has produced yet another situation that offends against all humanitarian instincts. They found that children as young as nine years old are fighting with the Palestinian popular Front General Command on the front line of the battle area in west Beirut. Bill McConville writes: "Against the battle-torn background of Beirut these infant freedom fighters live and die in an unreal atmosphere. They are not even teenagers - and while shells fall and mortars crash they roam the area hunting for snipers .. never in the history of warfare have such young children been in action in the front line."
As the fighting around the main crossing point between east and west Beirut continues, Lebanon's politicians are still struggling to find ways of bringing the two sides to the conference table.
On Tuesday (25 May) leftist leaders met at the home of Mr. Kamal Jumblatt for yet another round of discussions. This meeting came amid confusion within the country's warring factions. According to Reuters on Tuesday at least ten people were injured tin clashes in the town of Sidon between two left-wing groups - the pro-Syrian Saiqa and other Palestinian commandos. There re also reports of clashes between rival right-wing factions leaving 20 dead.
Also on Tuesday Mr. raymond Edde, a defeated candidate in the presidential elections three weeks ago, survived a second attempt on his life. He was shout in the foot by a gunman of the right-wing Falange party.
However, condemnation of the attack has brought the first signs of agreement between lebanon's rival political figures. Falangist leader Pierre Gemayel and Mr. Jumblatt both spoke out against it and Mr. Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, visited Mr. Edde in hospital.