In Lebanon, five people were killed and fourteen wounded on Wednesday (14 February) when Syrian troops of the Arab peace-keeping force shelled Christian suburbs in south Beirut.
In Lebanon, five people were killed and fourteen wounded on Wednesday (14 February) when Syrian troops of the Arab peace-keeping force shelled Christian suburbs in south Beirut. The state-run right-wing Falangist Radio, announced the casualties.
SYNOPSIS: Ail el-Rummanah was one of the suburbs to come under bombardment. The Falangist radio quoted a right-wing spokesman as saying the Syrians were using heavy tanks, mortars and machineguns. The radio claimed the attack was designed to embarrass the Lebanese authorities after a visit to Damascus on Tuesday (13 February) by Lebanon's Defence Minister Victor Khoury.
Mr. Khoury's talks in the Syrian capital dealt with the planned deployment of Lebanese troops in the southern region bordering Israel. The spokesman added that the right-wing militias had been ordered to show self-restraint and abide by a United Nations Security Council ceasefire call made last October.
The Falangist Radio accused the Syrians of provoking the eight-hour long battle, and said their snipers had opened fire at government offices and other targets in the centre of Beirut on Thursday (15 February). No reports were immediately issued on casualties from this sniper fire.
After the clashes had subsided, some residents ventured back into the streets to attend to regular activities, such as shopping. The right-wing Lebanese Forces, the overall militia command, said Syrians were violating the ceasefire right along the `green line' which separates Beirut into mostly Christian and Moslem sectors. The militia said they did not intent to respond, but The Guardian newspaper in London quoted independent sources as reporting militia fire on Syrian positions.
An officer of the Arab peacekeeping command in Beirut described the clash as a war of positions, with neither side engaging in ground action.