PLO Taking Defensive Posts

Remnants of the Palestine Liberation Organization are taking up defensive positions in west Beirut in anticipation of an Israeli attack on the city, Israel Radio reported today. It quoted refugees arriving in south Lebanon from Beirut as saying the PLO was occupying mosques, churches and abandoned foreign embassies on the supposition that the Israelis would refrain from attacking such buildings.

Foreign reporters in west Beirut reported chaos in the besieged western sector. They reportedly told colleagues in Christian-held east Beirut that there were clashes between rival groups within the PLO and a danger of epidemic disease because garbage and sewage have not been removed for two weeks and fester in the sweltering heat.

Other sectors of the Lebanese front remained quiet today except for artillery exchanges in the central sector between the Christian Phalangists, allied with Israel, and Syrian forces. Israeli troops were not involved and continue to observe the cease-fire established last Friday.

Three non-Palestinian guerrillas among the PLO fighters captured by the Israelis were interviewed on television last night under guard by the Israeli army. They were identified as nationals of Iran, Iraq and Yemen. They said they were recruited by the PLO with the promise of civilian jobs in Lebanon or Syria but when they arrived in Lebanon they were forced to join El Fatah fighting units.

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