LEBANON: FRESH FIGHTING BREAKS OUT BETWEEN GUNMEN OF RIVAL FACTIONS AND DEATH TOLL CLIMBS TO 535 LIVES IN SIX...
- Title: LEBANON: FRESH FIGHTING BREAKS OUT BETWEEN GUNMEN OF RIVAL FACTIONS AND DEATH TOLL CLIMBS TO 535 LIVES IN SIX WEEKS.
- Date: 10th October 1975
- Summary: 1. GV Smoke hanging over fire swept. buildings. 0.05 2. GV Security forces in streets. (3 shots.) 0.21 3. Gv burning building TILT down to people in street. 0.34 4. Gv Syrian firemen working with Lebanese firemen to extinguish blaze. (5 shots). 0.53 5. GV burnt out building and shops (6 shots). 1.33 Initials EC/0105/2130/2245 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVA8X6A78DERMMQ0GYF4E84LE39F
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Duration: 00:01:33
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: Fresh fighting broke out in Beirut on Thursday (9 October) between gunmen of rival christian and Moslem factions and the death toll of clashes in the past six weeks climbed to 535.
The same day, Lebanese Prime Minister Rashid Karami met Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad in Damascus to discuss the crisis. Mr Karami said after the meeting that "security was bound to return to the Lebanon". President Assad has already sent Syrian firemen to aid the Lebanese.
However, as gunmen from opposing sides continued exchanging fire in the Lebanese capital, Mr. Karami admitted that the number of armed men -- and the type of weapons they possessed -- burdened the security forces.
Significantly, Mr. Karami said that there were incidents where the gunmen had a superiority in arms over the security forces.
While in the Syrian capital, Prime Minister Karami also had talks with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (P.L.O.) leader, Yasser Arafat who later arrived in Beirut.
Mr. Karami told journalists that it was agreed Mr. Arafat should return to Beirut to "help bring about the withdrawal of armed men from the streets".
The official leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, of which Mr. Arafat is chairman, has remained aloof from Lebanon's six months factional violence.
However, the P.L.O. commands respect among Lebanese minority groups and its leaders have played a major role in mediation efforts.
Essentially the fighting is between right-wing Maronite Christians and Moslems. There have been reports that the Palestinians entered the most recent fighting on the side of the Moslems. However, there has been no confirmation of these reports by either side.
Beirut, the Lebanese capital, on Thursday suffered another round of violence from rival Christian and Moslem gunmen -- the fourth serious confrontation in six months that has so far claimed five-hundred-and-thirty-five lives.
The same day, Lebanese Prime Minister Rashif Karami had talks with Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad in Damascus, to discuss the crisis. Mr. Karami said later that the situation was bound to improve from the security view point.
Syria regards the situation as so serious, that it has now sent fire-fighters from Damascus to aid the Beirut Fire Brigade in the emergency. The Syrians are stationed in the Lebanese capital on a semi-permanent basis.
Meanwhile, as buildings burn, moves to find a peaceful solution to the confrontation continues. Both sides have appealed to the Syrians to media te, so far, without any long - term success.
While in Damascus, Prime Minister Karami also had talks with the Palestine Liberation Organisation Leader Yasser Arafat. Mr. Arafat agreed to go to Beirut and mediate,
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- Embargoed:25th October 1975 13:00