A Palestinian spokesman admitted that the position of the leftists in the Beirut slum quarter of Quarantina was "very grave" after heavy fighting in the Lebanon on Saturday (18 January).
GV Burning building.
SV Gunman on balcony.
GV Gutted Holiday Inn.
GV Damaged rooftops.
GV Gunaman running along street and firing from behind barricade. (6 shots)
GV Cars in street and gunmen.
SV Gunman firing from shelter of wall.
SV Gunmen, one carrying rockets on back.
GV Troops in landrover armed with machinegun.
GV Gunmen running down street.
Initials VS 23.10 VS 23.25
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Background: A Palestinian spokesman admitted that the position of the leftists in the Beirut slum quarter of Quarantina was "very grave" after heavy fighting in the Lebanon on Saturday (18 January).
The country's Prime Minister Rashid Karami resigned during the day after yet another of his attempts to arrange a ceasefire had failed (See Visnews Production No. 551 serviced on 18/1/76).
Only hours after Mr. Karami's truce right-wing Christian forces unleashed a full scale attack on Quarantina in north-east Beirut.
Late on Sunday (18 January) night a Falangist spokesman said they had called on the Palestinian and leftist defenders to surrender after pushing them back to a few buildings on the seafront. Fires burned across the district and some residents said 200 people had been killed or wounded during the day.
Asked why they had chosen to attack Quarantina directly after a ceasefire was declared, a Falangist spokesman said that in practice there had been no truce and fighting had continued on all fronts.
The leftists in Quarantina had long been a thorn in the side of the neighbouring Christians - hampering their communications by firing on bridges over the river.
The day before (17 January) the leftists had a morale booster in the present round of fighting during which they had been pinned down in several areas. They announced that they had captured four-fifths of the south Lebanese Christian town of Damour.
SYNOPSIS: The Lebanese capital Beirut where things are going badly for the left-wing side in the civil war at the moment.
The Holiday Inn - long a right-wing Falangist stronghold - has been gutted but on Sunday a Palestinian spokesman admitted that the position of the Moslems from the Beirut slum quarter of quarantina was very grave. Residents reported that some two hundred people were killed or wounded during the day as the Moslems were pushed back to a few buildings on the seafront. Hopes of halting the war took another body blow on Sunday when Prime Minister Rashid Karamia - a moderate Moslem who has made frequent attempts to arrange a ceasefire - announced his resignation.
The Falangist attack on Quarantina took place only hours after Mr. Karami's last ceasefire call. A Flangist spokesman said the attack was carried out because in practice there had been no truce at all.