Artillery fire crashed around the villages of southern Lebanon again on Friday (23 September), but ground fighting had slackened to a comparative lull, according to travellers in the area.
GV: town of Nabatiyeh, Lebanon.
GV: jeep down deserted street.
GV: deserted gun-blasted streets. (3 shots)
GV ZOOM OUT: Nabatiyeh countryside.
GV AND CU: small village where people grow and dry tobacco (5 shots)
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Background: Artillery fire crashed around the villages of southern Lebanon again on Friday (23 September), but ground fighting had slackened to a comparative lull, according to travellers in the area. Right-wing Christians and their Israeli allies continued to trade shells with Palestinian commandos and Lebanese Leftists.
SYNOPSIS: One town in the area which has been badly hit by the fighting is Nabatiyeh -- formerly a busy market town. Now it's almost deserted with its 50,000 residents dwindling to 5,000 since the beginning of the Civil War.
The people who still live there say the town is regularly shelled and that life has become very difficult because they have no indication when the next shellings will come. The streets show clearly just how much damage has been caused.
The area around Nabatiyeh is largely taken up by tobacco crops. Before the war they had provided a good living for many people living there. Some of the villagers say they've often fled during heavy fighting, but they return to harvest the crop because it's their sole means of survival. One farmer earns about 1,000 pounds sterling a year by selling his tobacco to French interests. He and his family live in makeshift shelters where they work with the leaves while avoiding the bombs.