UN Suez Canal Cease-fire Observers Are Relocating Posts to Avoid Line of Fire

The United Nations cease-fire mission is relocating its observer posts at the Suez Canal, including those on the Israeli side which have been apparent targets of Egyptian artillery shelling, UN sources here reported today. They said that the number of UN posts would remain unchanged but that the relocations would be to improved vantage points.

On the other side of the canal, Egyptian Army posts, including artillery units, have been moved to points often only a yard or two away from the UN posts, positions considered by UN personnel too close for comfort. It was reported that the new UN sites are not on the canal edge, as are the present posts, but further inland on slightly higher ground. The UN observers said they hoped to be able to see what was happening without being directly in the line of fire.

The canal area was generally quiet this weekend. (In a letter to the UN Security Council on Friday, Egyptian Ambassador Mohammed Awad H. el-Kony claimed Israeli forces were moving artillery pieces within range of Port Said, aggravating the Suez situation to the “point of a threat of explosion.” Secretary-General U Thant met with Mr. el-Kony and U.S. envoy Charles W. Yost on Mideast tensions on Friday.)

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