Four people died and 19 others were injured in Lebanon on August 22 in heavy shelling between Maronite Christian and Druze factions.
GV PAN Aley, Chouf Mountains (SOUND OF BOMBARDMENT)
GV & GVs PAN Beirut Moslem suburb of Bourj el-Brajneh under bombardment; shells explode; portions of building collapse away (6 shots)
SV PAN Injured person being carried on stretcher
SV PULL BACK TO GV Woman and children huddle together
TV Israeli troops fire from armoured vehicle
SV & GVs People pick through debris (3 shots)
NOTE TO EDITORS: THIS STORY HAS COMMENTARY BY NBC REPORTER VIC AIKEN FOR USE IF REQUIRED.
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Background: Four people died and 19 others were injured in Lebanon on August 22 in heavy shelling between Maronite Christian and Druze factions. Recently, there were exchanges of fire between the two groups after sunset, but on this occasion the fighting continued for several hours into the morning near Aley in the Chouf Mountains. In the Moslem beirut suburb of Bourj el-Brajneh the four civilian deaths and injuries occurred from the shelling. One rocket landed eight metres (yards) from the jeep of General Angioni, commander of the Italian peacekeeping forces, but he escaped unhurt. Both Christian and Druze spokesmen accused each other of deliberately shelling the area, outside the usual line of fire and the site of a Palestine refugee camp. The Christian Falangist radio said about 500 shells landed in Christian areas. As the fighting died down, Israeli units moved in, firing at possible militia positions in an effort to keep the peace. Reuters reported that sectarian tension in the area was rising as the planned Israeli withdrawal approached. Jerusalem had said it would soon pull back its troops 25 kilometres (15 miles) south to the Awali River in an attempt to strengthen its position in Lebanon, following last summer's incursion. The Lebanese government of President Amin Gemayel intends to replace the Israelis with US-trained units of the newly re-formed Lebanese regular army. But Druze leader Walid Jumblatt had said that they would not be accepted as peacekeepers unless the government agreed to reforms giving the country's 300,000 Moslems a share in government. Reuters reported that if the Israeli or Lebanese armies were not to keep the two factions apart, a new civil war was seen as inevitable.