The worst violence to break out in Lebanon since the start of the latest ceasefire two weeks ago erupted in Beirut on Thursday (4 November).
The worst violence to break out in Lebanon since the start of the latest ceasefire two weeks ago erupted in Beirut on Thursday (4 November). both right and left-wing factions have now announced that they are not prepared to surrender their heavy weapons - one of the conditions of the Arab peace plan.
SYNOPSIS: East of Beirut in the town of Aley, the atmosphere is less violent than in the capital. The Palestinians have successfully held onto the village while most others around it in the mountainous region have fallen to the Syrian-backed right-wingers.
On Wednesday (3 November) a number of Lebanese, who had sought refuge in Syrian, began returning home. They passed through the left wing checkpoint on their way to Beirut. They were not to know that the ceasefire agreement - a cause of hope for thousands of people - had already been broken. So fragile is the agreement, and so changeable is the military situation, that no-one can predict where it is safe to go form one day to the next.
The residents of Aley have at least had time to breathe in the two weeks since the ceasefire came into effect after its formulation by Arab leaders. But now with both sides refusing to relinquish any of their weapons, the situation is as volatile as ever. The Beirut-damascus highway has been re-opened to traffic, but it is not known how long this will last. The right-wingers refuse to hand over their weapons because they say they are a minority which needs to be able to defend itself. The left has accused its opponents of preparing for another round of fighting.