Only hours after the latest ceasefire agreement came into force in Lebanon, right-wing forces launched a heavy artillery bombardment on the left-wing and Palestinian held village of Bint Jebel on thursday (21 October).
GV Left-wing soldiers leaving command post to begin patrolling hilly area near town of Bint Jebel (3 shots)
SV Left-wing soldiers establishing gun position behind wall (3 shots)
SV Two young girls walking along road PAN TO left-wing soldiers gun position off road
GV Street in town of Bint Jebel with people in street (2 shots)
GV Crowds outside mosque
SV Blood stains on steps leading into mosque and people looking on (3 shots)
SV Crowd carrying bier with covered body on it (2 shots)
GV Crowd around grave in cemetery during burial service (2 shots)
SV damaged school building (2 shots)
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Background: Only hours after the latest ceasefire agreement came into force in Lebanon, right-wing forces launched a heavy artillery bombardment on the left-wing and Palestinian held village of Bint Jebel on thursday (21 October).
SYNOPSIS: Although the village is now firmly in the hands of left-wing and Palestinian forces, the surrounding area has been the scene of frequent clashes between these Palestinian troops and the right-wing forces. The left-wing political parties in Lebanon have warned that they will not keep the ceasefire if the right-wig forces use it as an opportunity to gain ground in the strategic southern border area, from which Palestinian commandos used to launch attacks against Israel. Left and right-wing newspapers in Beirut gave widely differing accounts of the fighting.
When the artillery bombardment began on Thursday, the town was crowded with people because it was market day. The mosque was one of several buildings that were damaged, and the attack left sixteen people dead and 30 others wounded. Left-wing spokesmen have repeatedly accused Israeli troops and tanks of taking a direct part in the fighting in the south.
Some commanders of the left-wing troops believe that before the ceasefire, Israeli forces would take part in the fighting during the night, and then return across the border before dawn.
There has been no confirmation of these allegations, but Reuters correspondents who have visited the area have reported that the right-wing forces along the Israeli border have been greatly strengthened by arms and assistance from Israel. The Bint Jebel school was another building to suffer damage.
The left-wing parties have said that they will renew the large-scale fighting of previous months unless the Arab summit meeting -- due to start in Cairo on Monday (25 October) -- takes action to deal with the situation in southern Lebanon.