A first contingent of 250 Nigerian troops has arrived in Beirut to take up duty with the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon.
GV Nigerian airways plane taxiing in at Beirut
SV Nigerian Charge d'Affairs walking to plane
SV arriving Nigerian Commander greeted
SV and GV's troops down steps (3 shots)
Gv troops forming up on tarmac (2 shots)
CU Emblem on Tailfin of plane, PULL OUT TO officers looking at map, troops in background (2 shots)
GV's troops unloading equipment (4 shots)
GV troops in line being issued with flak jackets
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Background: A first contingent of 250 Nigerian troops has arrived in Beirut to take up duty with the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: The soldiers arrived at Beirut International Airport aboard a Nigerian Airways DC-10 aircraft. They were met on the tarmac by the Nigerian Charge d'Affairs in Beirut. This first contingent of Nigerian troops and officers will be joined in about a week's time by a second group of about 350. That will bring the number of United Nations troops in lebanon to more than four-thousand five-hundred. They are being deployed in the sensitive areas of Southern Lebanon occupied by the Israelis during their invasion two months ago.
The Nigerian troops, who followed a vanguard of 31 army communications experts who arrived from Lagos about two weeks earlier, are due to be deployed in positions around the hilltop village of Tebnine, in the central-southern region, which was recently evacuated by the Israeli occupation forces. The Israelis are still reported to be in control of about one-third of the territory they took over during the March invasion. Meanwhile United Nations troops have been introducing new security measures around the strategic port of Tyre, including new checkpoints operated in co-operation with Lebanese authorities.
Re-deployment of United Nations troops during the past week came after clashes in the Tyre area between U.N. troops and leftist guerrillas which left three of the peacekeeping soldiers dead. The arrival of the Nigerian troops has coincided with the reopening of the Nigerian Embassy in Beirut, which was closed during the 19-month civil war.
Another indication of the re-establishment of ties between Nigeria and Lebanon is that Middle East Airlines are to restart direct flights between Beirut and Lagos next month.