Lebanese soldiers, aided by French paratroops, sealed off central Beirut on October 5 as they searched for arms caches and illegal residents.
BEIRUT, LEBANON 5 OCTOBER, 1982 (VISNEWS - MOHAMMAD AWAD AND REUTERS BEIRUT)
GVs Lebanese army units confiscating property from houses following searches SV PAN DOWN confiscated typewriters (2 shots)
SV Lebanese army officer questioning civilians
GV Tanks moving through street and heavy armour being loaded onto trucks (4 shots)
SV Prime Minister Shariq al-Wazzan arriving by car at government building, leaves car and answers reporters' questions (ARABIC SOT)
Background: Lebanese soldiers, aided by French paratroops, sealed off central Beirut on October 5 as they searched for arms caches and illegal residents. The operation, which paralysed the business and shopping centre, was said to the biggest show of force since the army took control of Beirut when the Israelis withdrew last month. State-run Beirut Radio said the army seized arms and arrested many people. The army said it picked up only those whose papers were not in order or fugitives from justice. The operation began at dawn when armoured cars were posted in streets to the south of the main shopping area. Inside the closed zone, soldiers and police went from house to house checking identities and asking house-holders if they had arms or were harbouring foreigners. As the Lebanese regular forces were carrying out the operation, Prime Minister Shafiq al-Wazzan was continuing his efforts to form a new cabinet. Mr. Wazzan served as prime minister under the previous President, Elias Sarkis, and continued in a caretaker capacity after Mr. Amin Gemavel became president on September 23. Mr. Wazzan, who played a key role in the negotiations over the evacuation of the Palestinian guerrillas, was reappointed on October 4.