Palestinian and Jordanian students occupied the Jordanian embassy in Beirut on Thursday (September 18). The?
Palestinian and Jordanian students occupied the Jordanian embassy in Beirut on Thursday (September 18). The demonstrators were at first prevented from entering the embassy by police backed by armoured cars, but 250 students managed to get in. They were protesting against the outbreak of fighting between commandos and Jordanian government forces.
Pro-guerrilla posters and scribbled slogans plastered the walls of the temporary offices of the Jordanian embassy.
The Jordanian embassy proper was burned out by Palestinian demonstrators during the June crisis in Jordan, and new offices were temporarily set up in a block of flats.
In a statement to those reporters permitted to enter the embassy, the students said they would continue their occupation until "a nationalist government" is formed in Jordan.
Heavily armed commandos in camouflage uniform and civilian clothes replaced the Lebanese police around the building. Some carried rocket launchers and a commando jeep mounted with anti-aircraft machine-guns drove up and parked outside.
No incidents were reported but Lebanese Interior Minister Kamal Jumblatt said that he would call in the army if necessary to prevent a repetition of last June's crisis.
Observers said that talks were continuing between the authorities and the guerrilla leaders in Beirut in an effort to persuade the protesters to end their sit-in and leave the embassy.
A spokesman for the demonstrators spoke to the press: