Sniper fire during the day on Tuesday (23 September) virtually paralysed life in Beirut, Lebanon, and together with gunfire and heavy explosions during the night shattered the second ceasefire attempt in less than a week.
Sniper fire during the day on Tuesday (23 September) virtually paralysed life in Beirut, Lebanon, and together with gunfire and heavy explosions during the night shattered the second ceasefire attempt in less than a week. Observers in Beirut report that this renewed fighting emphasises left-wing disapproval of the latest plan to end months of factional violence between Christians and Moslems.
Political sources said that the crisis was still unresolved because prominent left-wing leader Kamal Jumblatt objected to a planned National Reconciliation Committee being constituted on religious rather than party lines.
Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel-Halim Khaddam, who has been trying to mediate between the Lebanon's warring political factions since last Friday, told reporters on Tuesday "we have not finished".
Also on Tuesday Lebanese Premier Rashid Karami -- after a meeting with President Suleiman Franjieh -- told newsmen that he still believed a political solution was the primary need in order to restore stability in the country.
He said he had spent the day holding talks with various groups to reach an understanding on the formation of a representative body ... "This body will conduct a dialogue and lay down the basis which will make it possible to reach an understanding and establish co-operation among all sides for the purpose of consolidating unity and restoring normal life, in addition to drawing up a programme for the Lebanon of the future" he said.
So far the fourth found of factional strife since March this year has cost at least 270 lives in Beirut and the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.