• Short Summary

    A shaky truce settled over the strife-torn capital of Lebanon, Beirut, this week (25 September).


  • Description

    A shaky truce settled over the strife-torn capital of Lebanon, Beirut, this week (25 September).

    The truce follows several weeks of intense fighting between rival left wing Moslem groups and the rights wing christian groups.

    More than 300 people have died in the fighting which has wracked the entire country since last month.

    There has been only one serious class between the two factions since the latest ceasefire began on Thursday (25 September).

    That outbreak occurred in the provincial town of Zahle, near the road to Damascus, about 25 miles (40 kilometres) east of Beirut.

    It was in Zahle that the fighting that sparked Lebanon's fourth major round of factional violence this year began.

    About forty people died in that initial outburst of fighting that started with a dispute between two men over a pinball machine.

    The latest truce has enabled some of the stinking piles of rubbish, which have built up throughout the city during the past two weeks, to be removed.

    It has also allowed the bodies that have been rotting in the streets to be taken away from public view.

    The army went to eastern Lebanon on Friday (26 September to relieve internal security forces for duty in the capital. The Government has used the army to restore order in the provinces but has kept the military out of Beirut because of the fear that if the army was sent in outright civil war would develop because of Moslem charges that army officers favour the Christian Community.

    However, left wing Moslem leaders on Friday (26 September) gave their consent for a detachment of 200 troops to begin patrolling Beirut and hunt out the remaining snipers.

    Under the agreements of the latest ceasefire all gunmen are to leave the streets and barricades have to removed.

    But gunmen were still manning barricades in some quarters on Saturday (27 September) and the newly introduced troops appeared to be keeping a low profile.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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