Conditions Worsen in South Lebanon

Conditions deteriorated in south Lebanon today as the so far fruitless Israel-Lebanon military withdrawal talks prepared for a two-week Christmas-New Year break, starting tomorrow.

The Israel Defense Force arrested 21 Shiite Moslems from Sarafand and Ein Hilwe villages yesterday for questioning in connection with recent attacks on IDF and South Lebanon Army (SLA) units. The detainees include several members of Amal, the Shiite militia. The IDF encountered resistance from villagers, including women and children, during its round-up operation.

Two French soldiers of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) were wounded yesterday when a UN convoy from Beirut to Nakura came under small arms fire. The convoy returned to Beirut where the soldiers were hospitalized.

Beirut radio reported today that an IDF column of 15 tanks and a bulldozer patrolled north of the Awali River into territory evacuated months ago by the IDF. The column was reported to be headed toward the Kharoub area where heavy artillery exchanges were reported between Druze and Christian militias.

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