Rightist radio stations in Lebanon reported heavy fighting on Tuesday (17 August) in the mountains to the east of Beirut.
TV PAN ruins of Tel al-Zaatar camp
SV Body among debris
SV Woman outside her house PAN TO people standing in street
SV Group of men standing on patio of house
GV PAN People assembling outside church at Fafar Abida
CU Young girl in uniform carrying rifle passes by
SV Sheikh Amin Gemayel salutes guard of honour as he arrives
SV Man carrying photograph of dead boy leads group of mourners PAN UP TO church
GV Mourners and military lined up outside church (2 shots)
CU Weeping women wearing black
SV, CU Uniformed men and young boy lined up (3 shots)
CU, SV Young man plays drums as uniformed girls sing (3 shots)
Reuters News Agency, quoting informed sources in Beirut, said on Tuesday (17 August) that the Soviet Union had told leftist Lebanese and Palestinian leaders that it was exerting pressure on Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon. Syrian troops entered Lebanon in June this year. Their President Hafez Al Assad said they entered the county to bring peace, but Palestinian and left-wing Lebanese forces have repeatedly accused them of helping the rightists.
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Background: Rightist radio stations in Lebanon reported heavy fighting on Tuesday (17 August) in the mountains to the east of Beirut. The renewed fighting followed the fall of Beirut's Tel al-Zaatar Palestinian refugee camp to rightist forces last week (12 August).
SYNOPSIS: Three days after the camp fell, people were trying to regain some semblance of a normal life among the ruins. The area had been under almost constant bombardment by right-wing forces during a bitter 52 day siege. Nobody makes an attempt to move the dead bodies from the streets. Some people returned to their homes to find they had been the victims of looters, but few were lucky enough to have their house still standing.
In the north Lebanese village of Fafar Abida hundreds of people gathered to mourn the children killed in the fighting. One of the right-wing military leaders, Sheikh Amin Gemayel, attended the memorial service. The children died when Palestinian and left-wing forces launched an offensive to take the area over. A mass was held at the village church to commemorate those who had been killed.
There are no signs of an immediate end to the 16 month-old civil war though. Observers believe the rightists feel they have the upper hand and are in no mood to end the conflict except on their terms. However, the Palestinians have said the fall of Tel al-Zaatar and killings of its inhabitants have destroyed any prospect of negotiations. The fighting is now centred on the towns of Aintoura and Mtein, some 30 kilometres (18 miles) east of Beirut. The fall of the two leftist towns would reopen the road from the coastal towns held by right-wing forces to the Syrian capital, Damascus. But the Voice of Palestine radio has denied heavy fighting in the area and claims the Palestinian forces are firmly entrenched. But as the fighting ???es away from the Lebanese capital and into the surrounding countryside, the hopes of achieving a permanent ceasefire become increasingly difficult.