In the Lebanese capital Beirut, sporadic outbreaks of fighting between Syrian troops of the Arab Peace Keeping Forces and right-wing Christian militia have continued despite a cease-fire.
In the Lebanese capital Beirut, sporadic outbreaks of fighting between Syrian troops of the Arab Peace Keeping Forces and right-wing Christian militia have continued despite a cease-fire. About 200 people were killed in the five day battle which began on 1 July. The fighting was the worst renewal of violence since the Lebanese civil war ended 19 months ago.
SYNOPSIS: The Christian district of Ain Rummaneh was practically deserted after the fighting. This is where the battle began before spreading throughout East Beirut, from the docks to the eastern foothills. Many residents took advantage of the lull in the shelling and gunfire, to leave the area and move to Christian strongholds in the suburbs.
Once the business centre of the city, the commercial life of Ain Rummaneh was halted by the fighting. Christian militiamen patrolled the streets during the fragile cease-fire. The fighting was the third and the most serious clash between Syrian forces and the right-wing militia this year. One of the residents, trapped in a basement during the battle told reporters, what happened during the bombardment.
Relations between the Syrian and rightist forces have gradually deteriorated since the end of the civil war. Rightists leaders are now calling on the Syrians to withdraw. Former President and right-wing National Liberal head, Camille Chamoun, commented on the fighting.