Thousands of civilians have fled their homes in Southern Lebanon after more than five days of artillery duels between Palestinian guerrillas and Israeli-backed rightist militias.
Thousands of civilians have fled their homes in Southern Lebanon after more than five days of artillery duels between Palestinian guerrillas and Israeli-backed rightist militias. Israeli planes flew over refugee camps in the Sidon area of Southern Lebanon, but shelling stopped early on Thursday (31 May). Lebanon, has called for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to consider Israeli attacks on its territory.
SYNOPSIS: Earlier in the week, the town of Nabatiyeh and the port city of Tyre, both strongholds of the Palestinians and their Lebanese leftist allies, had come under shellfire from Israeli planes. Both places are now relatively quiet, and an estimated forty thousand refugees have joined the exodus to safer areas in the north. In the village of Siddiquine, four members of one family were killed and three others were wounded by the shell fire. A Dutch officer, attached to a United Nations peacekeeping force, said his headquarters had received a warning of further shelling against Siddiquine, which lies ten kilometres (six miles) north of the Israeli border.
As the exodus continued, Lebanese President Elias Sarkis was meeting in Beirut with government leaders and the Commander of the Arab Deterrent Force (ADF), a peace-keeping force composed mainly of Syrians, to discuss the situation in Southern Lebanon.