Fresh fighting has erupted in the Shouf mountains near Beirut, breaking twenty-four hours of relative calm.
GV Monument in Baalbek
GV Security outside hotel (2 shots)
GV Jumblatt arriving and entering hotel
GV INTERIOR ZOOM INTO Jumblatt speaking (ARABIC SOT)
SV Arrival in Tripoli of Jumblatt, former Prime Minister Rashid Karami and ex-President Suleiman Franjieh
SV Jumblatt, Franjieh and Karami seated (3 shots)
SV Karami speaking (ARABIC SOT)
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Background: Fresh fighting has erupted in the Shouf mountains near Beirut, breaking twenty-four hours of relative calm. The Christian and Druze militiamen began artillery exchanges soon after Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt announced the formation of a 'National Salvation Front', endorsed by Pro-Syrian politicians. The association will oppose the Lebanese government headed by President Amin Gemayel. Mr Jumblatt has been supported in his attempts to form an 'alternative' government by ex-Prime Minister, Rashid Karami and former President Suleiman Franjieh, and the three men met last week (July 23) in Baalbek and Tripoli. The leaders said the new 'Front' will administer a wide range of public affairs in the north and east of Lebanon. The formation of the 'Front' has heightened fears among many Lebanese of a long-term partition of the country into a Syrian controlled northern zone, an Israeli held southern region and a smell area around Beirut controlled by President Gemayel's government. The three men say they want reconciliation with President Gemayel, but they insist he renounces a troop withdrawal agreement reached with Israel in May. The Druze Moslem militiamen under Mr. Jumblatt's leadership, are well armed, and there are fears that violence will increase, leading the country back into civil war. During the last ten days the country has suffered the worst fighting since the Israeli invasion of the country last June, and many Lebanese fear it will continue.