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Fighting Continues Between Lebanese Army, Palestinian Militants

Fighting continued in Lebanon Monday between the Lebanese army and Palestinian militants. A reporter describes the scene and reasons behind the clashes.

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  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Louise Roug of the Los Angeles Times, thanks for being with us. There are reports that a cease-fire has been declared. Has the fighting actually stopped? And for how long?

  • LOUISE ROUG, Los Angeles Times:

    Well, from what we understand, there has been a cease-fire. Fighting has stopped in the north, but at the same time we've had a bombing here in Beirut in an upscale shopping area called Verdun. We have six wounded here already. Balconies have been sheared off buildings. Fires have been set ablaze. So fighting appears to have spread, or at least the bombings, here in the capital.

  • MARGARET WARNER:

    Now, the fighting in the north had already been described as the worst since the 15-year — the worst internal violence anyway since the 15-year civil war ended. You were up there yesterday. How did it look on the ground?

  • LOUISE ROUG:

    Well, there are several things going on. In Tripoli itself, there was a standoff between soldiers and gunmen holed up inside an apartment in an affluent neighborhood. That was a fierce firefight that lasted 10 hours.

    Both security forces and the militants were using grenades, and the firefights echoed between the apartment blocks. Eventually, the soldiers were able to kill all the men inside and found them. They had been strapped with explosives, clearly ready to kill themselves in suicide attacks.

    Then, elsewhere in Tripoli, there were also sporadic fighting. And in a refugee camp, the army had set up a position on a hill and were barraging the camps with artillery.

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