Reports from Beirut Speak of a ‘new Civil War’

Reports from Beirut today spoke of a “new civil war” and fighting in and around the Lebanese capital as violent as any since the civil war started eight years ago,

A French colonel was killed and six other French soldiers in the multinational force were killed in shelling, apparently by Druze gunners in the hills east of the city, firing towards the international airport region where the multinational force is situated.

French warplanes from the aircraft carrier Foche, anchored off Beirut, flew reconnaissance missions over the hills to pinpoint the source of the fire. Earlier reports that three French planes had bombed Druze positions were later denied.

Since the redeployment of Israeli forces from the Beirut and Shouf areas last Saturday night nearly 300 Lebanese have been killed and some 700 wounded in the ethnic and interreligious fighting.

Bath Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Defense Minister Moshe Arens said in different words in Rosh Hashanah interviews that Israel could not intervene in the new Lebanese fighting, however much Israel regretted the loss of life.

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