In Lebanon leaders of the right-wing militias in the southern part of the country have declared that any further takeover by United Nations peacekeeping forces in the area would be resisted "to the last drop of our blood".
In Lebanon leaders of the right-wing militias in the southern part of the country have declared that any further takeover by United Nations peacekeeping forces in the area would be resisted "to the last drop of our blood". On Sunday (18 June) a spokesman for five militia groups, mainly Christian, accused the U.N. interim fore in Lebanon -- Unifil -- of acting as servants of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Meanwhile, at the mountain resort of Ihden in the Zghorta-Zawiya region, Lebanese army troops were keeping watch over the home of the late Tony Franjieh, son of former Lebanese President Suleiman Franjieh, who was killed last week along with his wife, three-year-old daughter and 44 other local people.
SYNOPSIS: Community leaders in the area have blamed the right-wing Falangist Party for the Ihden massacre. As Arab peacekeeping forces manned roadblocks surrounding the town, former President Franjieh called on all Falangists in the Zghorta-Zawiya region to either withdraw from the party or leave the area. Mr. Franjieh was talking to local dignitaries who had come to pay their respects after the death of his son.
The arrack on the Franjieh residence followed a month of clashes between right-wing militia groups on the area, in which about 14 people were killed. New only the battle scars remain, as the troops patrol the empty building and another bloody chapter in the confused politics of Lebanon comes to an end. Tragically and inevitable it is not just the politicians who pay with their lives. In this room Tony Franjieh's little daughter lived, played -- and died.
And here her father paid the price of being an active member of one of Lebanon's most powerful ruling families. The attackers are alleged to have come down from the surrounding hillside without warning. The Falangist Politburo in Beirut issued a statement on Saturday (17 June) in which it said "What happened in Ihden was only natural".
The statement alleged that an "anti-Falangist war" had been happening in the region and that Party President Pierre Gemayel had urged the authorities to take control. The statement denied the Falangists condoned the murders, saying they were merely trying to define the factors which led to the tragedy.