INTRODUCTION A peaceful demonstration was held in Lebanon on Thursday (24 March), one week after the assassination of leftist leader Kamal Jumblatt.
INTRODUCTION A peaceful demonstration was held in Lebanon on Thursday (24 March), one week after the assassination of leftist leader Kamal Jumblatt. The death of the Druze leader has plunged the country into its gravest crisis since the end of the 19-month-long civil war last October.
SYNOPSIS: Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets of western Beirut in tribute to Mr Jumblatt. There had been fears that violence might erupt, but the rally ended without incident.
Banks, shops, schools and offices were closed in the western sector of the Capital as well as in other Moslem areas of the country. At mosques and town centres, thousands of people gathered for commemorative ceremonies and there were a number of peaceful processions. In southern Lebanon, however, there has been heavy shelling which had caused numerous casualties among Palestinian commandos and their Lebanese allies. Over the last week more than 150 people have been reported killed in Lebanon in a wave of revenge murders. At least 140 of the killings took place in the mountainous regions. Christian sources said many murders were by sectarian gunmen.
The new outbreak of fighting in the south came just as the tension subsided in Beirut. There are plans to put an all-Lebanese security force in the south.