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Central Sector of Lebanon Tense; Gemayel Narrowly Escapes Injury

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The central sector of the Lebanon front was quiet but tense today, following yesterday’s eight-hour series of bombing raids on Syrian and PLO positions by Israeli planes.

The heavy raids are seen here as a warning to the Syrians to put an end to the freedom with which the terrorists have been acting against Israeli soldiers, from what they appear to have thought was the safety of the Syrian line.

Traffic along the Beirut-Damascus highway was halted at the cease-fire line today, apparently because of damage to the roadway and essential bridges from yesterday’s raids. Targets included the Namliye bridge and the Dahr Al-Baidar pass through the mountain ridge which forms the backbone of Lebanon, dividing the coastal plain from the Bekao valley.

Meanwhile, it was reported from Beirut today that President-elect Bashir Gemayel narrowly escaped injury when an explosion damaged a building he was visiting in east Beirut which houses the offices of his right-wing Christian Phalangist party. The report did not indicate the cause of the explosion or whether it might have been an assassination attempt against Gemayel.

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